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Sep 06, 2019
12:49PM

Chandrayaan-2's Orbiter, Lander and the Rover

@isro
While Chandrayaan-2 is on its way to have its date with the moon, here is a relook at the different kinds of payloads its Orbiter, Lander and the Rover are carrying. The composite Chandrayaan-2 has the orbiter, the lander and the rover. The nearly 2.4-ton Orbiter carries the lander Vikram. The 1.5-ton lander, in turn, carries in its belly the 27 kg rover.

While the mandate of the Orbiter is to move around the moon for over a year, the mission of the lander is to soft-land on the lunar South Pole and to safely unleash the rover. The lander and the rover have a mission life of a single lunar day or 14 days of the earth.

The Orbiter has the capacity to generate a thousand-watt power using its solar panel. It has eight payloads including two cameras for mapping the moon and six other devices to study the lunar exosphere and ionosphere, detecting the presence of water or ice and to map the lunar mineralogy. It will be in touch with the Lander as well as the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bengaluru.

The lander Vikram, named after the Father of Indian Space Programmes Dr Vikram Sarabhai will carry out studies using three instruments onboard it like quakes on the moon due to the earth’s gravity and thermal conductivity. It also has a device for carrying out a passive experiment in association with the NASA for lunar laser ranging. It can generate 650 watts of power. Vikram can speak to the Orbiter as well as the Indian Deep Space Network.

The rover Pragyaan has two devices to probe the elemental composition of lunar soil near its landing site and derive the elemental abundance there. It would produce 50 watts of power and can travel on the lunar terrain at a speed of one centimeter per second. It is in effect a six-wheeled robotic vehicle. It can communicate only with the lander that would be parked within a radius of just 500 meters.

After one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 days on the earth, the Lander and the Rover would retire there itself, while the Orbiter would continue to observe the moon’s surface and its exosphere for a year by encircling the natural satellite.   

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