Bangalore, India: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that a national committee of experts has finalised seven payloads that will go on the second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, sometime in 2013. Three of the seven payloads are new.
Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft would have an orbiter (satellite), a lander and a rover, is planned to be launched onboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in 2013.
While the lander would be provided by Russia, the orbiter and rover are being built by Bangalore-headquartered ISRO. Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighs about 2,650 kg at lift-off of which the orbiter’s weight is about 1,400 kg and lander about 1,250 kg.
After detailed deliberations and considering the mission needs, weight and power available for scientific payloads, the committee has recommended five payloads to be flown on the orbiter, of which three are new and two are improved versions of payloads flown earlier on Chandrayaan-1 orbiter.
The five recommended payloads of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter include:
– Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore and Solar X-ray monitor (XSM) from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad for mapping major elements present on the lunar surface.
– L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad for probing the first few tens of metres of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the moon.
– Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from SAC, Ahmedabad for mapping of lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl present.
– Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE-2) from Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), Thiruvananthapuram to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.
– Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) from SAC, Ahmedabad for preparing a three-dimensaional map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.
In addition, the committee recommended two scientific payloads on the rover of Chandrayaan-2. The two scientific payloads on Chandrayaan-2 rover are Laser induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) from Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems (LEOS), Bangalore and Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectroscope (APIXS) from PRL, Ahmedabad. Both instruments are expected to carry out elemental analysis of the lunar surface near the landing site.