In recent years, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has done a commendable job in establishing itself and thus, India, as a pioneer in space research. After proving its mettle in front of the world stage, with the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, and the cheapest mission to Mars, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in 2014, ISRO has announced yet another launch in the first quarter of 2018.
For the first time in the Indian history, ISRO will be marking its presence on our natural satellite. After China’s rover Yutu launched back in 2013, ISRO is in preparation to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as a part of its Chandrayaan-2 Mission. The team at ISRO is currently in the process of developing three unmanned vehicles for the mission: an orbiter craft, which will hover above the Moon’s surface, plus a rover and a lander that will safely eject that rover on the Moon. The orbiter is designed to make a detailed three- dimensional map of the surface, the agency says. The lander craft will carry a six-wheeled rover which will operate under semi-autonomous mode which will be decided by the ground commands. The rover is expected to observe the lunar surface and will send back high quality data for further analysis of the lunar soil. All this is being realized with a overall budget of just $93 million.
The 3.3 ton heavy rover, the Chandrayaan-2 will be India’s second mission to the Moon, the previous being just an orbiter. The previous mission, Chandrayaan-1 was evaluated at a value of $83 million. It was quite successful as it made into the lunar orbit and discovered some magmatic water on one of the craters on the lunar surface. However, in 2009, it lost contact with the ground and got lost in the lunar orbit before it was found again by NASA in 2016.
ISRO is also currently planning on Aditya, a spacecraft designed to carry out a mission to the Sun by the year 2019-20, to study the solar Corona in the visible and near IR bands. These missions, if successful, are definite to further India’s position amongst the top contenders in the space race.
India's Next Mission To Moon CHANDRAYAAN 2 - ISRO's Next Big Project Explained
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