ISRO has scheduled a second lunar mission, the Chandrayaan 2, for some time in April 2018. The ISRO Chandrayaan 2 mission launch comprises of a tripartite orbiter-lander-rover, weighing 3290 kg, which will set off from the Sriharikota launch pad and make a soft landing near the south pole of the moon.
The heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II spacecraft is an improvement on its predecessor, the Chandrayaan 1, which weighed 1380 kg. The orbiter is expected to reach the moon’s 100 km orbit in a month or two, following which the lander will detach itself from the orbiter and make a soft-landing. After the controlled descent on the lunar surface, the lander will deploy a six-wheeled, semi-autonomous Rover.
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. – said Dr. K Sivan, ISRO’s Chairman.
The ISRO mission’s Rover will start sending data and images back to the Earth via the orbiter within 15 minutes of its landing, and this will be used to analyze the lunar soil. According to ISRO, “The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.”
Along with the Rover, the orbiter will also capture images of the moon and perform the function of remote sensing on the moon. The Rover will enter the sleep mode after spending 14 Earth days on the moon. It is, however, expected that the Rover will get alive when the part of the moon where the Rover will land, receives sunlight, and its solar cells will get re-charged.