Indian Lunar Space Exploration - Chandrayaan I and II Missions


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An overview of the Indian Lunar Space Exploration Missions: Chandrayaan-I and Chandrayaan-II

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  • * Prasad Sundararajan has been an active member of AIAA since 1992 and currently a member of its Economics Technical Committee. He was elected as an Associate Fellow of AIAA in January 2010. He has been involved in aerospace and AIAA related activities for the past 16 years both at the regional and national levels. He is the founder and research director at, an independent open access network on Indian space activities. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada and an MBA from Crummer Gradual School of Business, Rollins College, Florida. He also earned an Advanced Project Management Certificate from Stanford University School of Engineering, California. * His primary areas of interest and expertise are in space strategy and policy studies of emerging space powers, comparative economic and technology analysis, and the practical application of internet technologies for knowledge management and disbursement of aerospace related information.
  • Indian Space Program – started in early 1960s with the launch of American Sounding Rockets from Thumba in southern India. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was established in 1972 under the aegis of Dept. of Space, Govt. of India. Primary objective - Utilization of space assets for socio-economic benefits of the one billion and two hundred million citizens. Emphasis on IRS, INSAT and Meteorology satellites with indigenous launch vehicles. GSLV MK-II with Indian Cryogenic engine is still in development phase, the first launch in April 2010 was not successful. Successful development of GSLV MK II will allow India to be self-sufficient in launching INSAT series satellites. (next flight test by end of 2012). The maturity of Indian space program and national economic growth since liberalization (GDP in 2011 - $1.848 Trillion (per World Bank) = $5 Trillion in PPP) allowed ISRO to start dedicated space science/ planetary exploration program. Accelerate technology & science development. HSF – design stage, 2-3 person for orbit in the 200-300 KM altitude with indigenous launcher. GSLV MK-III would be needed for Human Space Flight program (2015-18).
  • Space application and technology development – policy goals. International collaboration for mutual benefit and technology development. Tool to advance foreign policy goals. Department of Space and Space Commission comes under the direct leadership of the Prime Minister. Since 1990s – space science and exploration being advocated by ADCOS – Advisory Committee on Space Sciences to ISRO. Chandrayaan I – Lunar mission was India’s 1 st deep space mission (launched on Oct. 22, 2008) 5) ASTROSAT – to be launched in 2013 – First Indian Astronomy Multi-wavelength Satellite to be placed in 600 KM SSO. (UV Instrument from Canada)
  • ISRO Budget for 2012-13: Indian Rupees 6,705.88 Crores (1 Crore is 10 Million) ~ $1.34 Billion $1 ~ 50 Indian Rupees LV Tech Devl. (GSLV MK II&III) – 29%; Launch Support (PSLV & GSLV) – 24%; Satellite Tech – 15%; INSAT – 15%; Space Applications – 9%; Space Science / Exploration – 6%; Administration – 3% Chandrayaan-I spacecraft cost $80 Million
  • Chandrayaan – I Mission – India’s first lunar orbiter mission (also first deep space mission) Chandra means Moon in Sanskrit; Yaan means Vehicle. Developed entire deep space infrastructure – 18m and 32m deep space antennas for Indian DSN; Indian Space Science Data Center; Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology; CH-I also carried a mini-spacecraft – Indian Moon Impact Probe that made a hard landing on the lunar south pole on Nov. 14, 2008 – Birth day of India’s first prime minister Nehru. MIP carried three instruments including a video recorder. Five Indian instruments and NASA (2), ESA (3) and Bulgaria (1) provided science instruments. Launched by an uprated version of PSLV – PSLV XL.
  • The most sensational scientific finding of the Chandrayaan-I Mission came from NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument – Discovery of surfacial water (top few millimeters of the lunar regolith and over extended region in the higher latitudes). The CHACE (Chandra’s Altitudinal Composition Explorer) payload on the Moon Impact probe found direct detection of water molecules during its descent from the Orbiter before impacting the lunar surface. NASA Mini-SAR instrument detected ice deposits near Moon’s north pole and it is estimated that there could be at least 1.3 trillion pounds (600 million metric tons) of water ice. The C1XS instrument (ESA) spectra from Fra Mauo Formation include possible detection of Sodium (Na) The regional mapping of Apollo sites allowed India to calibrate/ verify its remote sensing instruments with Apollo samples and Clementine spacecraft results. This is important for ISRO to have confidence in its science instruments as future planetary missions program grows.
  • The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M 3 ) on Chandrayaan-1 has recently detected absorption features near 2.8 to 3.0 micrometers on the surface of the Moon. (JPL/ Brown University) According to the Principal Investigators, Hydroxyl/water production processes may feed polar cold traps and make the lunar regolith a candidate source of volatiles for human exploration. NASA’s Cassini and Deep Impact Probe confirmed these findings by analysis of prior data obtained from their instruments en-route to their destination.
  • The Moon Impact Probe (MIP) was released from an altitude of 100 KM on 14 Nov. 2008 impacted the Moon’s South Pole after a 25 minute descent. The CHACE instrument onboard the MIP sniffed the tenuous lunar atmosphere as it descended. It provided “direct evidence” of the presence of water molecules at higher lunar latitudes. The above spectrum just before impact shows spikes at 18, 28 and 44 amus (atomic mass units) detailing the various content of the lunar atmosphere. 18 is water, 28 is nitrogen and 44 is carbon dioxide. VSSC – Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, named after the first Chairman of ISRO, considered the Father of Indian Space Program.
  • The spacecraft lost star sensor early in the mission once placed in the intended 100 km lunar polar orbit. The spacecraft experienced thermal problems once the science instruments were all commissioned. Given the large number (# 11) of science instruments, they needed to be phased for better thermal and power management. There is a need for understanding on dependency among the various components, instruments, distributed system/ bus management unit. The Moon’s uneven gravity necessitated constant orbital management, especially in the original 100 KM orbit. It was later raised to 200 KM orbit to reduce maneuvers. Chandrayaan-II is planned to be in a 200 KM orbit. ISRO did not immediately notify all PIs and press on the loss of sensors and waited a few days to report loss of contact once the mission ended after 10 months.
  • Chandrayaan–II Mission – India’s second lunar orbiter mission and its first soft landing mission with a Rover. Russia to provide Lunar Lander and instruments for lander; communication hub with both the Indian Rover and Indian Orbiter. Orbiter to communicate with Indian DSN. Development/ deployment of advanced technologies – thermal management, Orbit maintenance, propulsion & power systems, systems development for rover maneuvers and in-situ analysis.
  • Chandrayaan-II Mission: Orbiter-Lander-Rover (possible lander site in the lunar south pole) India has already selected and developing seven science instruments – 5 for the Orbiter and 2 for the Rover The main objective for the orbiter science is further chemical/ mineralogical/ topographical mapping with improved version of CH-I science instruments. (i) Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) (ii) Imaging Infra-red Spectrometer (IIRS) (iii) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) (iv) Collimated Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) (v) Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChASE-2) Russian Lander will carry the Indian Rover and perform in-situ analysis of lunar regolith utilizing a lander manipulator Science instruments - neutron and gamma-ray analyzer Russian lander is to act as the communication hub. Indian Rover consists of two science instruments to perform in-situ physical/ chemical analysis. Rover based wireless sensor network for in situ probing of water and ice on the surface of the moon. Rover to be capable of traversing up to 1 km. Battery powered.
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  • Indian Lunar Space Exploration - Chandrayaan I and II Missions

    1. 1. Credit: ISROAIAA SPACE 2012 CONFERENCEByPrasad SundararajanIndian Lunar Exploration Program –Chandrayaan I & II Missions
    2. 2. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsIndian Space Program - ISRO Earth Observation - Indian Remote Sensing (IRS)Satellites Telecommunication – INSAT Satellites Meteorology & Navigation SatellitesIndigenous Launch Vehicles PSLV GSLV – MK II & IIISpace Science/ Exploration Astronomy Missions Planetary MissionsHuman Spaceflight ProgramInternational Collaboration
    3. 3. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II Missions
    4. 4. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II Missions
    5. 5. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsObjectives:Place an unmanned spacecraft in polar orbitaround the moonConduct mineralogical and chemicalmapping of the entire lunar surface (95%completed)Upgrade national technological base forfuture planetary missionsOrbit: Lunar Polar Circular Orbit at 100KM / 200 KM. Launched by Indian PSLV XL.Timeline: Oct 22, 2008 - Aug 29, 2009(more than 3400 lunar orbits)Spacecraft:Basic architecture derived from the IRSsatellite bus, Spacecraft weight 1380 kg.Single solar panel generated 700 W power.Onboard liquid engine with 440 N performedorbit raising maneuvers.Eleven Science Instruments (six foreign)Chandrayaan–I SpacecraftCredit: ISRO
    6. 6. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsDetection of Water (OH/ H2O) Molecules NASA M3 Instrument, Mini-SAR instrument CHACE payload of MIP from ISROLunar Mineral/ Topography Mapping Possible detection of Sodium (Na) Regional mapping of Apollo 14, 15 and 17 sitesInteraction of Solar Wind with Lunar Regolith SARA Experiment found ~ 20% of incident solar wind getbackscattered (high hydrogen reflection) Explains low abundance seen by Apollo 17 samplesLunar Radiation Environment Average flux and dose increased from 100 km to 200 kmorbit Total radiation dose accumulated during CH-I transfer fromChandrayaan–I Science Findings
    7. 7. Credit: ISRO
    8. 8. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsReasons for failure before the planned two yearmission Power Converter Failure for loss of communication Loss of Star Sensors early in the missionThermal & Power Management Radiation tolerance for electronic components Power management among the 11 instruments Effect of dependency among instruments/ bus mgt. unitNew Materials & Miniaturization Development and incorporation of new materials Core components redundancy and InstrumentsminiaturizationOrbital perturbation correctionsChandrayaan–I Lessons Learned
    9. 9. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsChandrayaan–II MissionObjectives: Investigate the origin and evolution of the Moonwith improved versions of Chandrayaan-1instruments for imaging, mineralogy and chemicalanalysis Study of lunar radiation environment with alphaand neutron spectrometersTimeline: 2014-15 (Launch by Indian GSLV MKII)Spacecraft:Lunar Orbiter basic architecture derived from theIRS satellite bus.Russian Lunar LanderIndian Lunar Orbiter & RoverIn-situ analysis of lunar regolith by instrumentscarried by rover and lander.Credit: Roscosmos/ ISRO
    10. 10. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsIndian Orbiter Three-dimensional map to study lunar mineralogy andgeology TMC-2, IIRS, SAR, CLASS and ChASE-2 (all Indian)Russian Lunar Lander Neutron and Gamma-ray Analyzer to study the physicaland chemical properties of landing site by in-situ analysis Communication Hub – with Rover/ Orbiter, with EarthstationsIndian Rover Alpha Particle induced X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Navigation – pair of cameras to provide 3-D Digital Elevation Model Wireless Sensor NetworkChandrayaan–II Science Instruments
    11. 11. Indian Lunar Exploration Program- Chandrayaan I & II MissionsThe Indian Space Program entered a new phase with thesuccessful launch and completion of a dedicated lunar mission –Chandrayaan-IChandrayaan-I was a scientific success and proved ISROcapability for deep space missions but also provided ISRO severallessons learned to be incorporated in CH-II and future planetarymissionsProvided a boost for international collaboration in spacescience for humanity, especially between developed/ developingspace powersOn Aug. 15,2012 (Indian Independence Day] Prime Ministerofficially announced launch of an Indian Mars Orbiter Missionby Nov. 2013Successful development/ flight-test of GSLV MK-II & IIIcrucial for future deep space missions and planned HumanSpaceflight programCONCLUSION