Here's How Chandrayaan 1 Paved Way for Chandrayaan 2
If successful, Chandrayaan 2 will make India only the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to performs a 'soft' landing on the Moon and put a rover on the lunar surface.
GSLV MkIII carrying Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft (Image: Twitter/@isro)
ISRO that had hit a milestone with the success of Chandrayaan 1 is all set to make history yet again with the Chandrayaan 2 moon mission. If successful, it will make India only the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to performs a 'soft' landing on the Moon and put a rover on the lunar surface. Notably, China successfully landed a rover on the lunar surface in January this year. The Rs 1000-crore mission is set to carry an orbiter, a lander named ‘Vikram’ and a moon rover christened ‘Pragyan.'
To understand better how far India has come with Chandrayaan 2, here's taking a look at its predecessor, Chandrayaan 1. India’s first mission to the moon was launched in 2008, and what it achieved paved the way for Chandrayaan 2.
On October 22, 2008, India launched the 1380-kilogram spacecraft in a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) C11 rocket, an XL variant of the launcher, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
On the other hand, the Chandrayaan-2, by comparison, will be launched on GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) Mk III, which is a much more powerful launcher, and can launch a heavier payload further into space.
India's first lunar mission cost India Rs 386 crore, which was a fraction of the cost that other countries bore.
China spent about USD 180 million for its lunar mission in 2007 and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) reportedly cost USD 583 million.
Chandrayaan-1 orbited the moon a distance of 100 kilometres from its surface, with a mission of chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the lunar satellite. The most significant achievement was its discovery of the presence of water on the Moon.
Chandrayaan 2, in a way is the logical extension to the first moon mission. Chandrayaan-2 aims to land on South Pole of the moon, which is also more likely to host water as it mostly in the shadow region, meaning, it does not get sunlight. ISRO believes that water is expected from primordial origin (3-4 billion years ago) which remained preserved due to the unique geometry of solar illumination which prevents direct sunlight from entering craters in polar regions.
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