On July 15th India embarks on revisiting the Moon after its first successful mission Chandrayaan 1. However, this time the mission involves not just orbiting the moon but also landing as well as having a rover that can explore the moon surface and tell us the composition of the Moon itself. It is an exciting prospect which India has done in which no one else has done before. This includes landing on the South Polar side of the Moon which is where they first discovered signs of water as a first for the initial Chandrayaan mission
Over the years, ISRO has not only protected India borders but also affected each and every Indian citizen with their technological prowess. This involves using space technology not only for geostrategic purposes but also for what in your average Indian has come to acknowledge as common day to day advantages. This involves accurate cyclone prediction and accurate evacuation. It also involves important tasks such as disaster management and even things such as keeping an eye on Pakistan across the border along with all of our neighbors.
On July 15th at 2:51 a.m. in the morning Chandrayaan 2 will be launched. It will involve a rover weighing approximately 27 kg as well as a Lander weighing approximately 1.4 ton and an Orbiter as well weighing in at 2.4 ton. This Leads to a total weight of the launch satellite at 3.8 times.
It will be launched on the GSLV MK3 into a geostrategic orbit. The moon itself is 384000 km from the Earth. From then it will take approximately 16 days off self raising maneuvers before a final burn for a trans-lunar injection. Having done so it takes approximately 5 days for the journey to the Moon. After that a number of breaking maneuvers will be conducted to slowly reduce the orbit for a landing date on the 6th of September 2019.
In total the Orbiter has approximately 8 payloads while the Lander has 3 and the Rover 2 approximately with one payload contributed by NASA to accurately estimate exact distances between Earth and the Moon.
They are quite extensive payloads as well to really analyze the rock elements as well as accurately map of the Topography of the Moon itself.
On the 6th of September 2019 the Landing process which involves the Lander detaching from the Orbiter and descending to the moon which will take a total of approximately 15 minutes. It will be the most harrowing 15 minutes that ISRO will have had to endure over there last decade in preparation for the mission.
Having completed that, a door will open from the Lander allowing the exit of the Rover over 4 hours of maneuvers before eventually reaching the lunar surface.
It’ll be the culmination of over a decade of work and be thoroughly an indigenous Indian project. Initially started off with Russia as a partner to develop the rover they backed out a few years back and ISRO took up the challenge of developing the rover on its own.
ISRO over the years has made numerous successes including not only landing on Mars as the first attempt but also recently launching the greatest number of satellites in a single Mission as well.
It represents the accumulation of decades of indigenous work evolving support from not only governmental organizations but now private Industries as well. Indeed, it seems that 500 indigenous industries were required to build the GSLV MK3 launch vehicle and over 120 Industries required to build the Chandrayaan spacecraft.
ISRO has often been the nation’s pride as well as the envy of our neighbors. We have launched numerous important scientific missions and will continue to do so. The failures of which are all too apparent, Israel recently try to launch its own moon mission but unfortunately this smashed into the surface of the Moon.
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Many of the worlds countries often ask why does India need to have space program, and over the years India has shown them how technology can benefit and fully advance the lives of its own citizens.
ISRO now leading the way India shows and helps other countries to follow its own example by launching their own missions.
I know for one thing, that come 6th of September 2019, I along with over a billion Indians will hold their breath for those 15 minutes of decent!