Chandrayaan-2: The Facts Leading Up To The Historic Soft Landing

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Facts regarding Chandrayaan-2 and ISRO's accomplishments, highlighting details about the lander, rover and the orbiter's dimensions, along with budget

Written By Yash Sanghvi | Mumbai | Updated On:
Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2's Moon mission is one of India's proudest achievements so far; the indigenous spacecraft developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will deploy Vikram the lander to make a soft landing on the Moon in the early hours of Saturday, September 7. Vikram will then deploy its rover, Pragyan, whose mission is to scout the south pole of the lunar surface. 

Rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MkIII), otherwise known also as Baahubali is responsible for launching Chandrayaan-2. Weighing a staggering 640 tonnes, it is also India's heaviest launcher to date. This will be ISRO's third launch and adds another feather in the space research organization's cap, as India will become only the fourth country in the world to achieve the feat of a soft landing on the Moon, after the US, China, and Russia. 

Read| Chandrayaan 2: Here's the final timetable of India's moon-landing

Chandrayaan-2 budget ₹603 crore, Endgame budget ₹2,552 crore

Small on budget, not on dreams: ISRO's budget is reportedly11 times smaller than NASA’s. The organization, banking on its technological capabilities, has not been hamstrung by its $1.8-billion budget. In comparison, NASA received $21.5 billion in funds in just 2019. ISRO spent ₹603 crore for Chandrayaan-2 and ₹375 crore on its launcher, the GSLV-MKIII. To put that into perspective Avengers: Endgame cost its makers $356 million, roughly about ₹2,552 crore. It is been noted that ISRO has been part of 105 spacecraft missions, 75 launch missions, 10 student satellites, 2 re-entry missions, and 297 foreign satellites so far.  

Read| Orbit Maneuvers explained: The gravity powering ISRO's Chandrayaan-2

Making India proud even in Space

  • Chandrayaan-2’s lander, Vikram, and rover Pragyan, have been emblazed with the tricolour
  • The Ashoka Chakra is imprinted on the Pragyan’s wheels
  • Chandrayaan’s rover is called Pragyan, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, and leverages solar energy for functioning
  • It can travel up to 500 m (½-a-km) and leverages solar energy for its functioning. It can only communicate with the Lander

Read| ISRO's cartoon about Vikram separating from Chandrayaan-2 is adorable

Chandrayaan-1 helped NASA

Chandrayaan 1 was India's first lunar mission that was launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation. In 2018, Chandrayaan-1 helped NASA confirm the presence of frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon’s polar regions. One of the objectives of Chandrayaan 1 was to design, develop, launch and orbit a spacecraft around the Moon. Chandrayan 2 is carrying 2,542 kilograms of fuel to the moon and its orbiter weighs close to 3 nano cars. The Chandrayaan-2 mission is a precursor to the ambitious Gaganyaan project, which aims to place three Indians in space by 2022. 

Read| Chandrayaan-2: What Vikram and Pragyan can expect to find on the Moon

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