Monday, February 1, 2010
Chandrayaan-2 Program updates
Chandrayaan-2, India's next shot to the moon has come a long way since the project was first conceptualized back in first half of this decade. Although some payloads have already been finalized the process is expected to be fully completed in 2 months time. ISRO has had thousands of payload proposals from different countries on the table, from which it will have to finalize the payloads. Afterall the orbiter can accommodate only 50 kg of scientific payload.
The total weight of Chandrayaan-2 at launch will be 2457 kg, this including the lander and the orbiter. The orbiter and lander will be connected by an inter module adapter. The mass of the orbiter will be 1317 kg, of which 830 kg will be propellant for the orbiter and 487 kg will be the actual dry mass of the orbiter. Of 487 kg dry mass of the orbiter, the actual scientific payloads will weigh 50 kg. Only 10 kg of payload space will be open to international space agencies for their payloads.
Now, for the most exciting part. ISRO has gone ahead with the plant soft-land the rover on the lunar surface. The rover will be inside the rover-module of the lunar lander. As explained above the lander will be connected to the orbiter at launch. The total mass of the lander will be 1100 kg.
Out of the 1100 kg lander, 680 kg will be the propellant used for thrusters on the lunar-lander for soft landing. On the lunar surface the lander will weigh 420 kg including the rover and rover-module. Once the lander has landed on the lunar surface the 2 rovers, one Russian and another India will then emerge from the rover-module onto the surface of the moon.
Many of the scientific instruments on the lander/rover have already been finalized. The rover will drill into the lunar soil and obtain samples for analysis. The Regolith Evolved Gas Analyzer (REGA) and Mass Spectrometer will analyze the composition of Lunar soil. Two instruments, a Tunable Diode Laser and a Laser Induced ion Mass Spectrometer will look for the presence of water in the polar shadowed region of the moon.
Presently, ISRO is on-schedule for a 2013 launch of Chandrayaan-2. Chandrayaan-2 will be the stepping stone for a lots of things that in the future that ISRO already has planned for.