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July 22, 2019

India's Second Mission to the Moon: GSLV MkIII-M1 Successfully Launches Chandrayaan-2 Spacecraft.

Chandrayaan

Photo: The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 rocket, carrying Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, lifting off from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Monday, 22 July 2019.

New Delhi, 22 July 2019 — India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV MkIII-M1, successfully launched the 3840 kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into an earth orbit today. The probe is now revolving around the earth with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 169.7 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 45,475 km. Today’s flight marks the first operational flight of the GSLV Mk III.

After a smooth countdown lasting 20 hours, GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle majestically lifted off from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at the scheduled launch time of 1443 Hrs (2:43 pm) Indian Standard Time (IST) with the ignition of its two S200 reliable strap-on motors. All the subsequent flight events occurred as scheduled.

About 16 minutes 14 seconds after lift-off, the vehicle-injected Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into an elliptical earth orbit. Immediately after spacecraft separation from the vehicle, the solar array of the probe automatically got deployed. After that, ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru successfully took control of the spacecraft.

ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in this challenging mission. “Today is a historic day for Space Science and Technology in India. I am thrilled to announce that GSLV MkIII-M1 successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 into an orbit of 6000 Km more than the intended orbit and is better.”

“Today is the beginning of the historical journey of India towards Moon and to land at a place near the South Pole to carry out scientific experiments to explore the unexplored,” Dr. Sivan said.

In the coming days, a series of orbit maneuvers will be carried out using Chandrayaan-2’s onboard propulsion system. It will raise the spacecraft orbit in steps and then place it in the Lunar Transfer Trajectory to enable the spacecraft to travel to the vicinity of the moon.

GSLV Mk III is a three-stage launch vehicle developed by ISRO. The car has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster, and a cryogenic upper stage. It is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the moon. It comprises a fully indigenous Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan).

The mission objective of Chandrayaan-2 is to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface. On the science front, this mission aims to expand our knowledge about the moon further. There would be a detailed study of its topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics, and atmosphere leading to a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon.

After leaving earth orbit and on entering the moon’s sphere of influence, the onboard propulsion system of Chandrayaan-2 will be fired to slow down the spacecraft.

Subsequently, the lander will separate from the Orbiter and enter into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the moon. Then, it will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvers to soft-land in the South polar region of the moon on 7 September 2019.

Following this, the Rover will roll out from the lander and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for one lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth days. The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day. The Orbiter will continue its mission for one year.

The Orbiter had a lift-off weight of about 2,369 kg, while the lander and Rover weighed 1,477 kg and 26 kg respectively. The Rover can travel up to 500 m (half a kilometer) and relies on electric power generated by its solar panel for functioning.

Chandrayaan-2 has several science payloads to facilitate a more detailed understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon. The Orbiter carries eight payloads, the lander takes three, and the Rover brings two. The Orbiter payloads will conduct remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit while the Lander and Rover payloads will perform in-situ measurements near the landing site.

The ground facilities constitute the third vital element of Chandrayaan-2 mission. They perform the crucial task of receiving the health information as well as the scientific data from the spacecraft. They also transmit the radio commands to the satellite. The Ground Segment of Chandrayaan-2 consists of Indian Deep Space Network, Spacecraft Control Centre and Indian Space Science Data Centre.

Today’s successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 is a significant milestone in this challenging mission. A total number of 7500 visitors witnessed the launch live from the Viewer’s Gallery at Sriharikota.

Source: Department of Space, Government of India.

|GlobalGiants.Com|


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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 2:34 PM | Link to this Post


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