Chandrayaan-2 mission lander undergoing controlled landing tests at ISRO labs in Bangalore
With less than two months go for the launch of Chandrayaan-2, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the US will be part of India’s second moon mission
On Wednesday ISRO in an update officially said that a payload (scientific instrument) from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would be part of the mission for which the space agency is looking at a launch window between July 9 and July 16.
The NASA instrument which will be part of the mission will be a passive payload and will accompany 13 Indian payloads.
The inclusion of NASA’s passive payload does not alter the total number of payloads which will be part of the mission but will mean that one Indian payload has been dropped.
ISRO had just five days ago had said in an update that there would be 14 Indian payloads.
The Chandrayaan 2, originally was planned as an joint Indo-Russian mission where India would provide the orbiter and rover and the Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS was provide the lander. However the joint mission did not materialise due to delays from the Russian side.
Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft the predecessor of Chandrayaan 2 carried 11 scientific instruments of which six were from foreign space agencies and as result of which the findings made during mission could not be announced by ISRO due to embargoes imposed by the foreign space agencies.
Due to this ISRO’s Advisory Committee on Space Sciences which finalised the initial payloads for the Chandrayaan-2 mission had said that there would be no space for foreign payloads.
Chandrayaan -2 Mission
According to ISRO Chandrayaan-2, has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan). The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle. The Rover is housed inside the Lander. After launch into earth bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. Subsequently, Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole. Further, the Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface. Instruments are also mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments.
If the Chandrayaan-2 launch take place during the window of July 9 to July 16 there could be an expected Moon landing on September 6.