India’s second lunar mission to moon under the ‘Cahndrayaan 2’ project has seen the first phase successfully finished with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivering the ‘Orbiter Craft Module Structure’ to ISRO in Bangalore.
Chandrayaan-2 mission to moon is the advanced version of the previous moon mission undertaken by the space agency on Oct. 22, 2008. To be launched by a Geo-Stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-MKII), the module will have an orbiter, lander and a rover to carry out exploration on the moon.
The module weighs 3 tonnes structure with composite cylinderm shear webs and deck panels, said T. Suvarna Raju, HAL Chairman. Once it enters the orbit of the moon, the lander will be deployed for soft land on the surface and carry out mineral exploration and other scientific studies.
Chandrayaan 2 is planned to be launched in 2017 as a composite stack into the Earth Parking Orbit (EPO) of 170 X 18,500 km , carrying 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 and then the Lander will be separated.
While 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 together in cohesion.
Though the original plan in 2010 envisaged to rope in the Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS for lunar Lander, it was later decided to make the whole project indigenous with ISRO taking up the full responsibility for the Orbiter and Rover as well as Launch by GSLV.
Compared to Chandrayaan 1, which orbited the Moon for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon with 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria, the second mission is likely to be an entirely indigenous project.