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Mission Chandrayaan

Focus: GS III- Space

Why in News?

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space said that Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled for launch in August 2022.

Dimensions of the article:
  1. Key Findings of Chandrayaan-1
  2. About Chandrayaan-2
  3. About Chandrayaan-3
  4. Mission Objectives
Key Findings of Chandrayaan-1
  • Confirmed presence of lunar water
  • Evidence of lunar caves formed by an ancient lunar lava flow
  • Past tectonic activity were found on the lunar surface.
  • The faults and fractures discovered could be features of past interior tectonic activity coupled with meteorite impacts.
About Chandrayaan-2
  • Chandrayaan-2 is an integrated 3-in-1 spacecraft of around 3,877 kg comprising of an Orbiter of the Moon, Vikram (after Vikram Sarabhai) the lander and Pragyan (wisdom) the rover, all equipped with scientific instruments to study the moon.
  • The Orbiter will orbit from 100 km away, while the Lander and Rover modules will separate and make a soft-landing on the surface.
  • Lander (Vikram) will remain stationary after touching down, will mainly study the moon’s atmosphere.
    • It will also look out for seismic activity.
  • Rover (Pragyan): Once on the Moon, the Rover, a six-wheeled solar-powered vehicle, will detach itself and slowly crawl on the surface, making observations and collecting data.
    • It will study the composition of the surface near the lunar landing site, and determine the abundance of various elements.
  • Orbiter: While the Lander and Rover are designed to work for only 14 days (1 lunar day), the Orbiter, a 2,379-kg spacecraft with seven instruments on board, would remain in orbit for a year.
    • It is equipped with different kinds of cameras to create high-resolution three-dimensional maps of the surface.
    • It will study the mineral composition on the moon and the lunar atmosphere, and also to assess the abundance of water.
  • The mission sequence involves meticulous planning of series of Earthbound manoeuvres, trans-lunar injections, series of lunar burns, lander separation, lander descent, and touchdown and subsequent rover rolling out of the lander on the Moon surface.
GSLV Mk-III:
  • Developed by ISRO, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III is a three-stage vehicle.
  • Primarily designed to launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit.
  • It has a mass of 640 tonnes that can accommodate up to 8,000 kg payload to LEO and 4000 kg payload to GTO.
  • GSLV Mk-III vehicle is powered by two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C25), that has been designed for carrying the four-tonne class satellites.
  • The C25 is powered by CE-20, India’s largest cryogenic engine, designed and developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
About Chandrayaan-3:
  • As the name suggests, the Chandrayaan-3 is the successor to the Chandrayaan-2 mission and it will likely attempt another soft-landing on the lunar surface.
  • It will be almost a repetition of the July 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission in the configuration of spacecraft, the landing spot on the moon and the experiments to be conducted on the lunar surface.
  • Although scores of landers sent by Russia, the U.S. and the Chinese have explored the moon’s surface, so far, no other agency has landed in the southern hemisphere of the moon. ISRO hopes to be the first to do so.
Mission Objectives
  • Try and build on the evidence of water molecules shown by Chandrayaan-I and study the extent and distribution of water on the Moon
  • Study topography, seismography, composition of lunar surface and the lunar atmosphere
  • The study of ancient rocks and craters can offer indications of origin and evolution of the Moon.
  • The South Pole region of the Moon also contains clues to the fossil records of early solar system. Thus, it will improve our understanding of the early solar system as well.
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