ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 Latest News: The Pragyan Rover is capable of conducting the in-situ payload experiments and is powered through artificial intelligence.
ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 mission: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set for the relaunch of India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2 on July 22, 2019! Just a few days left before India sets its flag on the lunar surface for the second time, Chandrayaan 2’s mighty Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III or the GSLV Mk -III stands at the edge to power through. GSLV Mk -III, which is the three-stage launch vehicle to carry Chandrayaan 2, comprises the Orbiter, the Lander ‘Vikram’ and the Pragyan Rover. The powerful vehicle will aid in achieving some of the most advanced engineering marvels in space research for the country. Specifically, the Pragyan Rover has been strategically placed among the imperative areas of GSLV Mk-III and carries some very important functions for the lunar mission. Here’s everything you need to know about ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 Pragyan Rover:
- According to ISRO, The Pragyan Rover is capable of conducting the in-situ payload experiments
- It weighs a total of 27 kg and has an electric power generation capacity of 50 W
- The Rover is specifically a six-wheeled robotic vehicle which has been named ‘Pragyan’. It translates to ‘wisdom’ in the Sanskrit language.
- The Pragyan Rover can travel up to a distance of 500 m, which is half kilometres and leverages solar energy for its prompt functioning.
- The Pragyan Rover is powered through artificial intelligence system and is capable of communicating only with the Lander.
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Pragyan Rover Mission Payloads:
- Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS): The primary objective of APXS is to determine the elemental composition of the lunar surface near the landing site of the rover. It achieves this goal through the utilization of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique, where the X-ray or alpha particles are utilized to excite the surface. APXS makes use of radioactive Curium (244) metal which emits high-energy, alpha particles, X-rays which enables both X-ray emission spectroscopy as well as the X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Through these intricate techniques, APXS can detect all the major rock-forming elements such as Sodium, Magnesium, Silica, Aluminium, Calcium, Iron, Titanium, and some trace elements like Strontium, Yttrium as well as Zirconium.
- Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS): The primary objective of LIBS is to identify and also determine the abundance of elements near the landing site on the lunar surface. It does this by firing the high-powered laser pulses at several locations and also by analysing the radiation emitted by the the decaying plasma.