|Operator||Indian Space Research Organisation|
|Mission type||Orbiter, lander and one rover|
|Launch date||2017 (proposed)|
|Mission duration||One year (orbiter and rover)|
|Mass||2,650 Kg (orbiter, lander and rover)|
Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit: चंद्रयान-२, lit: Moon-vehicle pronunciation (help·info)), is India's second lunar exploration mission. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission is proposed to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), includes a lunar orbiter, a lander and a lunar rover, all developed by India. According to ISRO, this mission will use and test various new technologies and conduct new experiments. The wheeled rover will move on the lunar surface and will pick up soil or rock samples for on-site chemical analysis. The data will be relayed to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. Initially the mission was a joint venture of ISRO and its Russian counterpart Roskosmos, but the latter withdrew from the mission failing to provide a lander within the proposed time. There is no time frame set for the mission.
On November 12, 2007, representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) and ISRO signed an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project. ISRO would have the prime responsibility for the orbiter and rover, while Roskosmos was to provide lander. The design of the space craft was completed in August 2009, with scientists of both countries conducting a joint review. The launch date might slip because the loss of the Fobos-Grunt mission which was a planned as a test for the Russian landing system.
Although ISRO finalized the payload for Chandrayaan-2 per schedule, the mission was postponed, and rescheduled to 2016 because Russia was unable to develop the lander on time. Roscosmos withdrew in wake of the failure of the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission to Mars, reason being technical aspects connected with the Phobos-Grunt mission were also used in the lunar projects, which need to be reviewed. When Russia cited its inability to provide the lander even by 2015, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.
There is no time frame set for the mission as this mission requires the GSLV rocket, which is still in experimental stage. At least two successful GSLV test launches are required for it to be used as a launch vehicle.
ISRO will design the orbiter, which will orbit the Moon at an altitude of 200 km. The mission would carry five instruments on the orbiter. Three of them are new, while two others are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1 orbiter. The approximate launch mass will be 1,400 kg.
Unlike Chandrayaan-1's lunar probe, which impacted the Moon's surface, the lander will make a soft landing. The approximate weight of the lander and rover is 1,250 kg. Initially, the lander was slated to be developed by Russia in collaboration with India. When Russia stated its inability provide the lander to meet even the revised time frame of 2015, Indian officials decided to develop the lander independently. The cancellation of the Russian lander also meant that mission profile had to be changed. The design of the indigenous lander and the preliminary configuration study has been completed by the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad.
The rover will weigh 30–100 kg and will operate on solar power. The rover will move on wheels on the lunar surface, pick up samples of soil or rocks, perform chemical analysis and send the data to the orbiter above, which will relay it to the Earth station.
The rover has been designed in Russia and is being fabricated by Indian scientists. IIT Kanpur is developing three subsystems to provide mobility:
- Stereophonic camera based 3D vision - will provide the ground team controlling the rovers a 3D view of the surrounding terrain.
- Kinematic traction control - will enable the rover to negotiate the rough lunar terrain using independent steering provided on four of its wheels.
- Control and motor dynamics - The rover will have six wheels, each driven by an independent electric motor. Four of the wheels will also be capable of independent steering. A total of 10 electric motors will be used for traction and steering.
ISRO has announced that an expert committee has decided on five payloads for the orbiter, and two for the rover. While it was initially reported that NASA and ESA would participate in the mission by providing some scientific instruments for the orbiter, ISRO has later clarified that due to weight restrictions it will not be carrying foreign payloads on this mission.
- Orbiter payload
- Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore and Solar X-ray monitor (XSM) from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad for mapping major elements present on the lunar surface.
- L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad for probing the first few tens of metres of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the Moon.
- Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from SAC, Ahmedabad for mapping of lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl present.
- Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE-2) from Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), Thiruvananthapuram to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.
- Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) from SAC, Ahmedabad for preparing a three-dimensional map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.
- Rover payload
- Laser induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) from Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems ( LEOS), Bangalore.
- Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectroscope (APIXS) from PRL, Ahmedabad.
Later there were reports of plans to send a seismometer to moon to study about moon-quakes.
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