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India confirms payloads for Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission

RIA Novosti

19:41 30/08/2010 NEW DELHI, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - India has finalized the list of payloads for its Chandrayaan-2 Lunar Mission, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said on Monday.

The ISRO and the Russian Federal Space Agency signed in November 2007 an agreement to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project.

The remote-sensing satellite's main goal is to provide further evidence to confirm the presence of ice below the shadowed regions of the Moon's surface and probe the planet's chemical composition.

The second Indian mission to the moon will have an orbital flight vehicle constituting an Orbital Craft (OC) and a Lunar Craft (LC) that can carry a soft landing system up to Lunar Transfer Trajectory (LTT).

The spacecraft will weigh 1.4 tons and have five payloads attached to it.

The spacecraft will be equipped with Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) and Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) for mapping the major elements present on the lunar surface, and a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for probing the lunar surface for water and ice.

The payloads will also include an Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) for mapping the lunar surface over a wide range to study minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl.

A Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChAC-2) for carrying out detailed studies of the lunar exosphere and a Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) for preparing a three-dimensional map of the planet's surface will also be attached to the spacecraft.

Chandrayaan-2 will also have an orbiter (satellite), a lander and a rover for collecting and analyzing samples of lunar soil and sending the data back to Earth. Russia is responsible for the design and construction of the three pieces of equipment.

The successful launch of the Chandrayaan-1 on board the Indian-built PSLV-C11 rocket in October 2008 made India the third Asian country to send an unmanned probe to the Earth's largest satellite after Japan and China.

The ISRO chief said that 95 percent of the scientific objectives of the Chandrayaan-1 mission had already been achieved, despite the failure of several instruments.

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