ISRO-The Orbital Perspective:- Chandrayaan 2-Wider Horizons Towards Space Exploration - The Fearless Indian
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ISRO-The Orbital Perspective:- Chandrayaan 2-Wider Horizons Towards Space Exploration

  • Sukanya Iyer
  • July 9, 2019
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Amidst the heavy Monsoons, I sit in my quite corner watching Nature at its best, while breathing the fresh air, resigning completely to the influence of Nature, while I sip my favourite specially brewed Filter coffee, Pen down my thoughts on ISRO. Before I go into details of the Article, I would like to quote Swami Vivekananda’s quotes” He Who gives up the little self for the world will find the whole universe his”.

Let me give You all some details about ISRO—

ISRO, the space agency of the Government of India which is headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to harness Space Technology for National Development while pursuing space science Research & Planetary exploration. The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established. Vikram Sarabhai, Scientist recognizing the need in space research INCOSPAR grew & became ISRO in 1969, also under the Department of atomic Energy (DAE). In 1972 Government of India set up a Space Commission & the Department of Space (DOS). The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized Space research activities in India. It is managed by the Department of Science, which reports to the Prime Minister of India.

ISRO with its 1st Satellite Aryabhata launched duly by Soviet Union on 19th April 1975. It was named after the Mathematician Aryabhata. In 1980, Rohini became the 1st Satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle (PSLV) for launching Satellites into polar orbits & the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing Satellites into Geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications Satellites & Earth Observation Satellites GAGAN-Satellite Navigation Systems & IRNSS have been deployed too. In January 2014, ISRO used an Indigenous Cryogenic Engine in a GSLV- D5 Launch of the GSAT-14.

Let me give you all in an brief manner about various Satellite Launches—ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22nd October 2008, & a Mars Orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission on 5th November 2013, which duly entered into Mars Orbit on September 2014, thereby making India the 1st ever Nation to Succeed on its 1st attempt to Mars & ISRO the fourth space Agency in Asia to reach Mars Orbit. On 18th June 2016, ISRO Launched twenty Satellites in a Single Rocket (PSLV-C37), which is a WORLD RECORD. ISRO also launched its Heaviest Rocket-Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MarkIII (GSLV-MK-III) on 5th June 2017 & duly placed a communications Satellite GSAT-19 in Orbit. With all the above Launches, ISRO became very capable of launching 4—Ton Heavy Satellites GTO.

Main Vision OF ISRO— “Space Technology is the service of Human Mankind”. The Vision statement of ISRO is to Harness Space Technology only for National Development, while Pursuing Space Research & Planetary Exploration.

Let me give you all some brief on Chandrayaan 1

The 1st Indian Lunar Probe. It was Launched by ISRO in October 2008. The Mission included a Lunar Orbiter & an Impactor. India Launched the Spacecraft using a PSLV—XL Rocket, serial Number C11, on 22nd October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Sriharikota about 80 Km North of Chennai. The Mission was to boost India’s Space Program, as India researched & developed its own technology to explore the Moon. The Vehicle was inserted into Lunar orbit on 8th November 2008. The estimated cost of the Project was Rs.386cr After almost a year, the orbiter started to suffer from severe Technical Glitches including Failure of the Star Sensors & poor thermal shielding. On July2nd 2016, NASA used ground-based Radar systems to relocate Chandraayan1, in its Lunar Orbit, more than 7years, after its shutdown.

Findings of Chandraayan1—The Data provided by Chandrayaan’s 11 payloads were used by the Scientific community to study the Moon & its environment. It was intended not only to be a demonstration of India’s Technology in Space but was also expected to return Scientific Information about the Moon, according to NASA.

The Mission carried 5 Specific Payloads:

  1. Terrain Mapping Camera which provided a high-resolution map of the Moon
  2. Hyper Spectral Image which performed Mineralogical mapping.
  3. 3. Lung Laser Ranging Instrument which returned information about the Moon’s topography.
  4. High Energy X-Ray Spectrometer (HEX) which examined Radioactive elements on the Surface.
  5. Moon Impact Probe which was intentionally crashed into the Moon’s South Pole.

Chandrayaan-1 data helped determine the Presence of Water ice on the Moon, which NASA announced in September 2009.After NASA’s announcement, ISRO said its Moon impact Probe had also detected the signature of water on the moon, just before it impacted the surface. In March 2017, Researchers located Chandrayaan-1 in a polar orbit that was about 200kms above the Lunar surface.

Why UPA Government delayed Chandrayaan-2 by Pushing Mangalyaan?

 Former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair, who spearheaded Chandrayaan-1 had said, that Chandrayaan-2 was slated for launch towards the end of 2012, then why the delay, let me give you all the facts:

Mr. Madhavan Nair opined that the Chandrayaan-2 Mission “could have been carried out long ago but for the Political Decision” of then UPA Government to push the “Mangalyaan” venture with an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha Election.  The Architect of Chandrayaan-1, India’s 1st unmanned mission to the moon launched on 22nd October,2008, he served as the Chairman of ISRO & the Secretary in the Department of Science from 2003 to 2009. He opined in August 2009, that Chandrayaan-2 was slated for launch towards the end of 2012. In October 2018, Mr. Nair Joined the ruling BJP. Mr. Nair also alleged that the UPA Government also wanted to show some Major event like “Mangalyaan” before the 2014 Election. “With that Objective, they went ahead with the Mangalyaan Mission”, he said. Though the launch of Mangalyaan took place during the UPA Regime, (November 2013), The spacecraft reached the Mars Orbit during the Narendra Modi Led Government (September 2014) Nair opined. “So, it didn’t serve the Purpose of the then UPA Regime”. It was more of a Political thing than Technical he said further. “Almost half the work for Chandrayaan-2 was done earlier, but all things were diverted for Mars Mission. So, we (ISRO) had to start from the scratch. Only after PM Modi came into Power in 2014, they reinstated the old Programme (Chandrayaan-2), he further added.

India’s 2nd Mission Chandrayaan-2, would be duly Launched on July 15, ISRO Chairman, K. Sivan announced. The Launch will duly take place at 2.51 AM on board the GSLV MKIII, vehicle from the Spaceport of Sriharikota.

Now Let me give you the Details on launch of Chandrayaan-2

A Big Boost to India’s Space Programme, the Centre has increased the Financial Outlay for the Department of Space (DoS) to Rs.11,177.46 crore. This apart, Government also announced forming of NSIL-National Space India Limited, a Public Sector Enterprise which is incorporated as new commercial arm of DoS to commercialize various Space products developed by ISRO, including Production of launch vehicles, transfer of technologies & marketing of space products. This comes days before the Historic launch of Chandrayaan-2, Mission on July 15. If successful, India will become the fourth Nation to soft-land on surface of the moon & cementing its place among the world’s Space-Faring Nations This is the 1st time ISRO’s Budget has breached Rs.11,000Cr., mark. In 2017-18, the revised estimate stood at Rs.9,918Cr. The Financial outlay for Individual Departments, Funds for Departments of Space are allocated under three Heads i.e., Space Technology, Space Applications & INSAT Satellite System. Totally, Rs.8,407.59 Cr., has been allocated for space applications &Rs.884.42Cr. for INSAT Satellite Systems. ISRO is Provided three Earth observation Spacecraft, four PSLV & three GSLV Mk III- Rockets with carrying capacity of four tonne class of communication Satellites.  These Missions, will carry niche ocean cloud monitor, sea surface temperature sensor & continuation of Microwave imagine in C-Band.

ISRO Chairman, K. Sivan, had earlier said that the Organization had planned 32 Missions, including “the Most Complex”, Chandrayaan-2. “The Year Promises to be much more challenging to the ISRO community with 32 planned Missions, (14 launch Vehicles, 17 Satellites, &1 Tech demo Missions). Mr. Sivan also opined by saying that recently ISRO had unveiled the Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru.

What is the Ultimate Aim of Chandrayaan-2 Mission?

The Chandrayaan-2 Mission has a background of an ultra-ambitious ARTEMIS Program of NASA which aims to put the next few humans—two to start with most importantly including a woman, as being planned – on the Moon by 2024 & also establish a permanent Lunar Station on the Lines of the International Space Station in the Moon’s Orbit as well as a “base Camp” for Missions to Mars. This will evoke more interest to NASA Scientists.  This is the only non- Indian Payload on Chandrayaan-2. Precise measurements between Earth & the Moon are very essential particularly as NASA’s ARTEMIS program would involve more frequent manned missions to the Lunar surface, ahead of Missions to Mars by using moon as a further step to deep space manned missions of the future.

Chandrayaan-2 will also hunt for possible water & Minerals in their different forms near the Lunar South Pole, which is where India’s Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to Land on September 6th 2019. The ARTEMIS Program involves a Gateway stationed in the Moon’s Orbit, called as a – “deep-Space outpost”.by year 2028. The Gateway will also be a station for Astronauts regrouping after completing their Lunar surface explorations. Towards that, Astronauts have also been ordered, to make moon landings by 2024.

What is the Significance of Chandrayaan-2 By ISRO?

On 15th July, a day before the Apollo Missions launch in 1969, Chandrayaan-2 will leave Earth to begin its journey to the Moon, 3.84Lakh Km away. Chandrayaan-2 will not be a manned Mission. This is not even the 1st mission that ISRO has sent to the moon, but scientists see this particular mission as a very 1st step towards Indians setting foot on the moon sometime in the future. With this aim in the mind, we see there are lot of comparisons drawn between the Apollo Missions & Chandrayaan-2, besides the obvious differences.  A former member of The Indian Space Planning Commission pointes out “The Chandrayaan-2 moon landing Mission is similar to the Apollo series of manned missions of the US (1969-72), which took the 1st humans to Moon, an orbiter will orbit the moon, a lander that will exit the orbiter & come down to the Land on the Lunar surface carrying the Rover & on Landing the Rover getting out of the lander & moving out on the Lunar surface to Explore”.

Some more Information: From Pole to Pole— 2 expeditions, 110 years apart

In 1909, Expedition to the Earth’s South Pole—The Duration of the Journey took 10 Months, the Mission time span was for 9 days. The Average Temperature, –60 degree C to –10 degree C, total Number of Participants-10

In 2019—Expedition to the Moon’s South Polar Region—The Duration of the Journey—2 Months, the Mission timespan—14 days, Average Temperature, –157 degree C – 121 degree C, Number of Participants—One Nation.

What Makes Chandrayaan-2 so very Special?

As we all know that other than being India’s 1st rover-based space Mission, it will also be the world’s first expedition to reach the moon’s south-pole region.

It will open up a new era of Lunar Exploration. The Mission will also help us better understand the origin & evolution of the moon. This is the beginning to our quest to unravel the mystery of the moon.

Mark the Date—July 15th, 2019, History in making—India plans 2nd Mission to the Moon—

India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will attempt to land a briefcase- sized rover into lunar surface, 600Km from the Lunar South-Pole, while an Orbiter above searches for water-which is very vital to future Manned missions. The ISRO agency plans to launch a spacecraft in the early hours of July v15th local time in the hopes of landing a rover vehicle on the Moon. If everything goes well, India will be the 4th Nation to soft land on the Lunar surface—after the US former Soviet Union &China.

The Chandrayaan-2 will be country’s 2nd lunar mission after the previously successful Chandrayaan-1 orbited our nearest celestial neighbour in 2008. This Mission will focus on the Lunar surface—which will gather Data on Water, Minerals, & Rock Formations. This Costs Rs.948cr., 50 Years after Apollo 11 Launch.

This is one of the most awaited Programme of Indian Space Agency. I Hope & I can very Confidently say that this will definitely reach its Destination Point. This shows our Technical capability & also attracts Customer Satellites. Indeed, it will be a Milestone…. I feel on 15th July 2019, it will boldly go where no country has ever gone before—the Moon’s South Polar Region—Chandrayaan-2, #ISROMissions—South Pole Region has craters that are cold traps & contain a fossil record of Earth Solar System. There is a possibility of water in Permanently which is shadowed area around, Chandrayaan-2 will also attempt to soft Land the Lander-Vikram & Rover—Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C & Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70-degree South. The Countdown Starts….

Congratulations to ISRO Scientists for the Preparedness….

Kudos to Leadership at the helm of affairs…

Salutations to our Brave warriors

Dr.S. Sukanya Iyer

Jai Hind

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