(Bloomberg) — India will launch a lunar mission on July 15, attempting to become the fourth country to land on the moon and cementing its place among the world’s space faring nations.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission aims to deliver a rover to an elevated plane close to the uncharted lunar South Pole on Sept. 6 or 7 and investigate the surface for signs of water and potentially new sources of abundant energy. It’s one step in an envisioned progression that includes putting a space station in orbit and — eventually — landing a crew on the moon.
Chandrayaan, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, exemplifies the resurgence of international interest in space. The U.S., China and private corporations are among those racing to explore everything from resource mining to extraterrestrial colonies on the moon and even Mars. If successful, India will be only the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon, in which vehicles touch down without damage, after the former Soviet Union, the U.S. and China.
“We have left no stone unturned to make the lunar soft landing a success,” Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, the country’s equivalent to NASA, told reporters at the headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.
The upcoming moon mission is the most complex ISRO has attempted. Two Chandrayaan modules — an orbiter and a lander — will be stacked together inside a launch vehicle equipped to lift heavy satellites into orbit. A third module, the lunar rover, will roll out on landing and operate for at least 14 days on the surface. It will wander about 1,300 feet, surveying a surface that reaches minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 157 degrees Celsius) in the shadows.
And heading this exercise are two women — mission director Ritu Karidhal and the project director Muthayya Vanitha, …read more
Source:: Time – World