The Indian Space Research Organization, popularly known as ISRO has been advancing in rapid leaps and bounds. After their record-breaking launch of 104 satellites last year, the organization is now setting their sight on the moon, with their first ever lunar rover, the Chandrayaan-II. ISRO announced today that the launch will be taking place in March 2018 and the Chandrayaan-II would land on the South Pole of the Moon.
If the Chandrayaan-II Lunar Rover successfully lands on the South Pole of the moon, this would be the first such landing ever, as no other moon mission has landed in this area in the past. The mission would be launched towards the end of March. While there have been a number of lunar projects in the past, this is ISRO’s most ambitious project to the moon.
Chandrayaan-II comes after the success of Chandrayaan-I, which was launched from Sriharikota 10 years ago. It was one of the most successful missions from ISRO back in the day and managed to enter the orbit of the moon from where it discovered ‘magnetic water’ on the moon! Chandrayaan literally stands for ‘a plane that goes to the moon’.
“After reaching the moon’s orbit, the lander will get detached from the orbiter and do a soft-landing near the south pole of the moon. The 6-wheeled rover fixed within the lander will get detached and move on the lunar surface. The rover has been designed in such a way that it will have power to spend a lunar day or 14 Earth days on the moon’s surface and walk up to 150-200 km. It will do several experiments and on-site chemical analysis of the surface,” Dr DK Sivan, the ISRO chief said.
This Lunar Rover has six wheels and weighs in at 3,290kg. The mission has been planned in such a way that the Chandrayaan would stay on the Moon for 14 days – the amount of time it takes the moon to complete one orbit around the Earth.