9 Nov 2018

Chandrayaan – 22 min read

Manifest Pedagogy

The launch being planned in 2019, the questions may appear in both Prelims and Mains. In prelims UPSC may ask the place of launch, type of engine and fuel, name of the lander of Chandrayaan – 2 and its payloads or the names of important Exploration Missions around the world.

In news

Scale down test for lander of Chandrayaan-2.

Placing it in syllabus

  1. Awareness in the fields of Space
  2. Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Static dimensions:

  1. Chandrayaan – 1
  2. Technology and payloads of Chandrayaan 1 and 2.

Current dimensions:

  1. Indigenization of technology
  2. India’s space prowess through recent missions


What is scale down test?

The Lander Actuator Performance Test (LAPT) is one of the crucial tests required to be demonstrated for a successful soft and safe landing of Vikram (Chandrayaan-2 Lander). To carry out this test, an LAPT module which is a scaled down version of Vikram with all the required hardware was realised for testing in Earth environment. The reason for the scaling down is to compensate the effect of Earth’s gravity as compared to Moon’s gravity. To carry out this test, a special test facility was erected at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.

Chandrayaan – 1

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 for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.

Information received from Moon:

  1. Its morphology
  2. Its surface age
  3. Composition of Lunar Surface
  4. Magmatic and exogenic water

There are many events which are running up to the launch of chandrayaan-2. Even the cryogenic engine test was done for its launch.

Chandrayaan – 2

Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander (Vikram) will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.

The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.

The other payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.

What prompted indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover?

Initially, ISRO planned to partner with Russia to perform Chandrayaan-2. The two agencies signed an agreement in 2007 to launch the orbiter and lander in 2013. Russia later pulled out of the agreement. The Russian lander’s construction was delayed after the December 2011 failure of Roscosmos’ Phobos-Grunt mission to the Martian moon of Phobos.

Other events in the recent past:

ISRO successfully tests Cryogenic Engine (CE-20) for GSLV Mk-III / Chandrayaan-2 Mission.

The upper stage of GSLV MK-III vehicle is powered by Cryogenic Engine (CE)-20, which operates on gas generator cycle using LOX (Liquid Oxygen) / LH2 (Liquid Hydrogen) propellants combination.

Test Yourself: Mould your thoughts

What are the objectives of Chandrayaan – 2? How this mission will enhance India’s position in global space capabilities?

1 Response

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