In April, second mission moon of India, Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to launch. It would be carrying one of NASA’s science probe, as the media has reported.
Chandrayaan 2 will be carrying laser retroreflector arrays which are owned by NASA. These will allow the scientists to get precise measurements about the distance of the Moon, as said by officials of US space agency at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas, reported by space.com.
Along with Chandrayaan 2, science instruments will be sent to the Moon on the Israeli lander Beresheet which will touch down April 11.
Lori Glaze is the Acting Director of Planetary Science Division which is part of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. She said that NASA is trying to populate the entire Moon surface with laser reflector arrays once they reach there.
Glaze has disclosed no timeline for the creation of the partnership.
Steve Clarke who is the deputy associate administrator for exploration inside NASA’s Science Mission Directorate stated that they were asked quickly whether there is something to contribute to the lander. Within the two weeks, they have come up with the agreement on it.
Retroflectors are sophisticated mirrors. From Earth, scientists can shoot lasers on them and can study the reflected light. This can easily pinpoint the position of the lander. From it, scientists can calculate the Moon’s and its distance from the Earth.
Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft is of 3,890 kg. It will be launched on the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3. The spacecraft will orbit around the Moon for studying its conditions and get data of its mineralogy, topography, and exosphere.
The first mission Chandrayaan-1 took place on 22nd October 2008 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, India’s only spaceport. A decade after comes to the Rs. 800-crore mission moon, Chandrayaan-2.
As a tribute to former ISRO chairman and India’s space programme pioneer Vikram Sarabhai, the lander is named “Vikram”.