India’s second moon mission to carry five instruments

August 30th, 2010 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO Bangalore, Aug 30 (IANS) India’s second moon mission in 2013 will carry five scientific instruments on board the spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 that will also have a lander and a rover to ride on the lunar surface, the space agency said Monday.
“Russia will provide the lander and the rover is being built by our scientists and engineers,” state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

Chandrayaan-2 will be launched onboard the indigenous geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) from the country’s spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km north-east of Chennai.

The spacecraft weighs 2.6 tonnes at lift-off with the orbiter at 1.4 tonnes and lander 1.2 tonnes.

A national committee of experts headed by former ISRO chairman U.R. Rao finalised the five instruments to be flown on the orbiter, including two improved versions of the payloads that were used in the first lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1, which was launched October 2008 on a 10-month voyage.

“The committee has recommended five scientific payloads keeping in view its weight and power. Though it has favoured two payloads on the rover, their inclusion will be determined after considering the mission constraints such as power and weight,” the statement pointed out.

The five proposed instruments are: Large area soft X-ray spectrometer and solar X-ray monitor to map major elements on the lunar surface, and L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to probe the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice and the terrain mapping camera-2 will prepare a three-dimensional map for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.

“SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the moon,” the statement noted.

The imaging infra-red spectrometer is intended to map the lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for studying minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl and the neutral mass spectrometer to study the lunar exosphere.

The two instruments on the rover are laser induced breakdown spectroscope and Alpha particle induced x-ray spectroscope.

“Both instruments will conduct elemental analysis of the lunar surface near the landing site,” the statement added.

Sub-systems of the orbiter and rover are being developed at ISRO centres in Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad.

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