Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has confirmed that the next mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 will be launched in the early quarter of 2018. Recently, at a press meeting, ISRO boss AS Kiran Kumar had confirmed about the same. According to AS Kiran Kumar, ISRO is currently experimenting with what will be India’s most ambitious Moon mission. Interestingly, differentiating from the previous mission, the space organisation plans for a controlled touchdown on the lunar surface when the probe will land. Kumar, during his speech at the convocation ceremony of Vels Universtiy in Chennai, had said that ISRO is building an engine which will make it easier for scientists and astronomers to control land the spacecraft on the surface of the Moon.
In order to try out the mission here, ISRO has reportedly created a man-made crater in order to simulate the conditions of Moon’s surface. According to Kumar, there will be many ground tests for the Chadrayaan 2 mission in the space body’s research facilities. While the Chandrayaan 1 was launched on October 22, in the year 2008. Hence, Chandrayaan 2, set to take wings in 2018, will be India’s second lunar mission. The Chandrayaan II will consist of a rover, lander and orbiter.
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ISRO has said that the Chandrayaan 2 mission will open up opportunities for new technology and scientific achievements. There will be many experiments and tests planned for the lunar mission. A rover with wheels will collect soil and rock samples so that they could be analysed on-site. The probe will then be transmitted back to the Earth. Moon is the world’s only natural satellite, and sending a spacecraft there not only gives us key information about celestial bodies but also strengthens India’s position on the map in the world space industry.
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ISRO has been making waves with so many successful missions. It just sent off 104 satellites in one go, and also successfully realigned the Mangalyaan’s orbit. The realignment happened because there was a long-standing eclipse which could have drained the battery out of the probe. Meanwhile, according to reports, scientists have been testing soft landing engines in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka using a lunar surface simulation.