New Delhi, February 9: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working towards the launch of Chandrayaan-2 during the first quarter of 2018. ISRO has started a series of ground tests for testing the performance of sensors and actuators for soft landing of the Lander on the lunar surface, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Jitendra Singh said in Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister explained in a written reply that Special tests for new systems in Lander have been identified and a Lander Sensors Performance Test over artificial craters created in Chitradurga district in Karnataka, has been conducted. Lunar Terrain Test facility is ready for Lander drop test and Rover mobility tests.
The Chandrayaan-2 comprises of indigenous 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 will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover. The instruments on the rover will collect data for analysis of the lunar soil, he added.
Significantly, Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. It consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover configuration. It is planned to be launched as a composite stack into the Earth Parking Orbit (EPO) of 170 X 18,500 km by GSLV-Mk II. The Orbiter carries the combined stack up to moon till the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI). The combined stack is then inserted into a lunar orbit of 100 km x 100 km. The Lander is separated from the Orbiter in this orbit.