Chandrayaan II to Test Object Landing on Moon: ISRO Chief

ISRO is planning to land a robot landrover on the Moon in a controlled manner, revealed the space agency Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar in his inteaction with students on Sunday.

“We are planning Chandrayaan II, which will include a lander. Chandrayaan II will have an object that will descend on the surface of the moon in a controlled manner,” he told enthusiastic students after inaugurating the Mega Science fair at Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School in Puducherry.

ISRO has demonstrated the utmost or maximum use of its capabilities and technology so far that no critics dared to raise any questions after the successful MoM Mangalyaan mission. With the whole world applauding the cost-effective and first-time-but-successful mission to Mars, critics have been silenced for ever.

The hallmark of the Indian Space Research Organisation is to make use of whatever capability or technology that is accessible, said Dr. Kumar, listing ISRO’s achievements so far. ISRO has evolved with this kind of approach since the beginning and the focus has always been on a fully indigenous capability, including developing its own launch vehicles and satellites — and all of them ataffordable cost for both India and other countries, he noted.

ISRO has so far launched about 79 satellites for 21 countries in the world and its next mega-launch will witness 103 satellites to be launched this month, breaking the Russian record of 37 satellites launched in June 2014. Hundred of these satellites are foreign and three are Indian.

Giving an insight into ISRO accomplishments, Dr Kumar said 38 satellites are in operation and they are indigenously built and launched by an indegenous launch vehicle. The weather satellites have sent information about cyclones and details about 12 crops so far, he said. Fishermen can get information on availability of fish in advance now, he explained.

“We were able to show the world that it is possible to do inter-planetary mission or planetary mission at a very low cost,” he said. On chandrayaan I mission, which received maximum criticism for spending money on space research during its launch, was useful in providing unique details that were not deciphered in the past by other countries’ mission. The credit for discovering water molecules and the process involved was credited to Chandrayaan I, he said.

To be launched in 2018 by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk II), Chandrayaan II will include a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed by ISRO. Similar to NASA’s Curiosity Mars Landrover, it will move on the lunar surface and pick up soil or rock samples for on-site chemical analysis, which will be sent to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter that is part of the mission.

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