India launched its first lunar probe in October 2008, and it is setting up the stage for its second coming with Chandrayaan-2 liftoff. The mission will be ISRO’s attempt to get a more delicate and close up look at the lunar surface, the launch of which is eagerly awaited. Unlike the first mission which carried only Chandrayaan orbiter and the Moon Impact probe, this mission will have a lander and a rover apart from the orbiter, which has been developed by Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL). Equipment attached to orbiter: Solar X-ray monitor:
“There are three payloads developed by the PRL for Chandrayaan-2. The orbiter will have a solar X-ray monitor developed by PRL. It will monitor x-rays coming from the Sun and X-rays being generated on the surface of the moon,” said PRL Director Dr Anil Bhardwaj, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 15th International Symposium on Equatorial Aeronomy, organised at the main PRL campus. PRL, a unit of Department of Space, was founded in 1947. Equipment attached to lander: ChaSTE :”On the lander, there will be Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE). This is a probe which will measure the temperature beneath the surface by getting inside the surface of the moon. It will do so after the lander lands on the moon,” the director said, adding that this equipment will also be developed by PRL. (ChaSTE) is one of the science experiments proposed to conduct in lunar surface in the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Equipment attached to rover: Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer : For the rover, which will come out from the lander and meant to roam on the lunar surface, PRL has developed an instrument called ‘Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer’, said Dr Bhardwaj. “This instrument is designed to identify various elements and chemical compounds on the surface of the moon,” he added. Things you must know about Chandrayaan-2 According to reports, Chandrayaan-2 is likely to be launched in January-March window in 2019. However, exact dates are not yet released. It will take one or two months for the orbiter to reach its designated place around the moon After the orbiter reaches its designated place in the lunar orbit, the lander will depart from it along with the rover Following a controlled fall, the lander will soft land on the lunar surface at the prescribed site and place the rover on the surface The rover will spend 14 days on the lunar surface covering a distance of 150-200 km on the moon The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface when it will walk on the moon These instruments will also perform an on-site chemical investigation The data will be sent back to earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter (rover will send the data to the orbiter and the orbiter will send it back to earth) to analyse the lunar soil Aiming for the sun with ISRO’s Aditya-L1 mission PRL is also developing instruments for ‘Aditya-L1 mission’, which is aimed at studying the Sun through a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, said Dr Bharadwaj. An instrument for the measurement of charged particles has also been developed, he said, adding, “With this instrument, we will be able to study solar winds, charged particles and its energy range.” As per ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) website, the satellite will be inserted in a halo orbit around the L1, which is 1.5 million km from the earth. The project is approved and the satellite will be launched during 2019 2020 time frame by PSLV-XL from Sriharikota.
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