“Can India reach new heights in space research with the successful launch of Chandrayaan 2?”

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

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On 56th Independence Day, August 15 2003, our Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced that “Our country is now ready to fly high in the field of science. I am pleased to announce that India will send her own spacecraft to the moon by 2008. It is being named Chandrayaan-1”.

Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization in October 2008, and was operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. The mission was a success and made India to stand along with the top advanced countries in space research like US, Russia etc.

Now India wanted to explore its potential further by launching Chandrayaan 2. The Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. It consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover configuration. The Orbiter carries the combined stack up to moon till the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI). The combined stack is then inserted into a lunar orbit of 100 km x 100 km. The Lander is separated from the Orbiter in this orbit.

The Orbiter with scientific payloads will orbit around the moon. The Lander will soft land on the Moon at a specified site and deploy the Rover. The scientific payloads on board the Orbiter, Lander and Rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.

During 2010, it was agreed that Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS would be responsible for lunar Lander and ISRO will be responsible for Orbiter and Rover as well as Launch by GSLV. Later, due to a shift in the programmatic alignment of this mission, it was decided that the Lunar Lander development would be done by ISRO and Chandrayaan-2 will be totally an Indian mission taking a little help from the NASA.

We can expect that if the Chandrayaan 2 is a success then India will be above par in comparison with the other countries in relation to space research and can achieve new heights in the near future.

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