India towards Moon: Mission Chandrayan 2

Chandrayaan IIis India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1. It was developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The mission was launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island. The mission has an allocated cost of ₹978 crore which includes Rs 603 crore for space segment and Rs375 crore as launch costs on GSLV Mk III.

On 12th November 2007, representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signed an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project. ISRO would have the prime responsibility for the orbiter and rover, while Roscosmos was to provide for the lander. On 18th September 2008, the Indian Government approved the mission in a meeting of the Union Cabinet which was chaired by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

India's first lunar mission in 2008 the Chandrayaan-1 carried out the first and most detailed search for water on the Moon using radars but did not land on the lunar surface.

In 2015 Russia (Roscosmos) withdrew in wake of the failure of the Fobos-Grunt mission to Mars and India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.

The primary objectives of Chandrayaan-2 are to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice. The orbiter will map the lunar surface and help to prepare 3D maps of it. The onboard radar will also map the surface while studying the water ice in the South Polar Region and thickness of the lunar regolith on the surface.

India is set to become the only fourth country after the US, Russia and China to make a soft landing on the Moon.

EP Desk

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