Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has started a series of ground tests for testing the performance of sensors and actuators for soft landing...
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has started a series of ground tests for testing the performance of sensors and actuators for soft landing of the Lander on the lunar surface. Special tests for new systems in Lander have been identified and a Lander Sensors Performance Test over artificial craters created in Chitradurga district in Karnataka, has been conducted. Lunar Terrain Test facility is ready for Lander drop test and Rover mobility tests. ISRO is working towards the launch of Chandrayaan-2 during the first quarter of 2018, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.
Chandrayaan-1, India's first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon. After the successful completion of all the major mission objectives, the orbit has been raised to 200 km during May 2009. The satellite made more than 3400 orbits around the moon and the mission was concluded when the communication with the spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009.
Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. It consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover configuration. It is planned to be launched as a composite stack into the Earth Parking Orbit (EPO) of 170 X 18,500 km by GSLV-Mk II. The Orbiter carries the combined stack up to moon till the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI). The combined stack is then inserted into a lunar orbit of 100 km x 100 km. The Lander is separated from the Orbiter in this orbit.
The Orbiter with scientific payloads will orbit around the moon. The Lander will soft land on the Moon at a specified site and deploy the Rover. The scientific payloads onboard the Orbiter, Lander and Rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.
During 2010, it was agreed that Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS would be responsible for lunar Lander and ISRO will be responsible for Orbiter and Rover as well as Launch by GSLV. Later, due to a shift in the programmatic alignment of this mission, it was decided that the Lunar Lander development would be done by ISRO and Chandrayaan-2 will be totally an Indian mission.