If you thought the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was having a banner year in 2017, then 2018 promises to be an even better one. The agency has just announced that Chandrayaan-2 India’s second lunar exploration mission will be literally heading to the Moon in the first quarter of 2018.
It will be following in the space steps of Chandrayaan-1, which was launched in 2008. But it is far more advanced and comprehensive than the first mission.
Here’s everything we know about India’s second tryst on the Moon.
Image for representation. Photo source: Facebook
1) According to ISRO chairperson AS Kiran Kumar, the agency is currently in the process of developing an engine that will enable the controlled landing of the mission for next year.
2) Chandrayaan 2 will be taken to the moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle called GSLV-Mk II.
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3) The agency is developing nearly every single facet of the mission objectives. This includes the Lunar Lander, the Lunar Rover (that will navigate on the satellite’s surface) and a lunar orbiter.
4) The Lunar Rover is about 20kg in weight and will function solely on solar power. Outfitted with six wheels, it will navigate across the Moon collecting various rock and soil samples that will be analysed. The data would then be transmitted back to Earth.
5) The mission will conduct a series of experiments that will help scientists across the world understand the Moon a little bit better. If it goes according to plan, then it will provide additional proof of the existence of water ice. It will also help map specific parts of the lunar surface and study the atmosphere.
The Indian space agency is currently riding high having made history by successfully launching 104 satellites in one go and is also working towards a mission to study the atmosphere of Venus. Meanwhile, there are still dreams on the Moon.