ISRO’s Chandrayaan – 2 To Carry NASA’s Laser Retroreflectors To The Moon

The Logical Indian Crew India

March 27th, 2019 / 5:42 PM

Image Credits:  Republic World (Representational)

India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, scheduled to be launched in April, will carry NASA’s laser instruments, retroreflectors to the moon. Retroreflectors are sophisticated mirrors that reflect laser light signals sent from Earth and allow scientists to make exact measurements of the distance to the moon.

“During the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held at Texas, US last week, NASA stated that ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 and Israel’s lander Beresheet, due to touch down April 11, will carry NASA’s laser retroreflectors to the moon,” reports The Hindu

According to Space.com, Lori Glaze, the acting director of the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, told that they are trying to populate the entire surface with as many laser reflector arrays as they can possibly get there. She also said that NASA wants to build new laser stations on Earth to signal to the reflectors.

“Although five such retroreflectors are already present on the surface of the moon but because of being huge, it limits their usability. On the other hand, the new laser retroreflectors waste fewer laser pulses and provides scientists with more accurate measurements of the moon’s surface than the existing ones,” says Simone Dell’Agnello, a physicist at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics National Laboratory at Frascati, Italy.


Chandrayaan – 2

Chandayaan – 2, India’s second lunar exploration mission will be launched a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan – 1. It is developed by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) which includes a lander, a lunar orbiter, and a rover. The 800 crore Chandrayaan -2 mission’s lander is called as ‘Vikram’ named after Vikram Sarabhai (1919 – 1971), the former ISRO chairman and the pioneer of India’s space programme.

The Chandrayaan – 2 space aircraft that weighs more than 3,877 kg is to be launched by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) and will orbit around the moon to study and gather data about its topography, mineralogy, and exosphere. The GSLV Mk III also known as ‘The Bahubali’, India’s heaviest rocket weighs nearly 640 tons and will launch Chandrayaan 2 satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota island.

The mission’s rover which is called as Pragyan weighs around 27 kg and will operate on solar power. It is a tiny six-wheeled moon rover which will soft land near the south pole of the moon.  

After the success of Chandrayaan – 2 mission, India will become 5th country in the world to accomplish this achievement after the Soviet Union, US, China, and Israel.


Also Read: ISRO Successfully Launches IRNSS-1I To Replace IRNSS-1A In Indigenous Navigation Satellite Constellation


Contributors

Written by : Jasmine Kaur (Intern)

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

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