What Does It Take For The Chandrayaan 3 To Succeed This Time?
Dhir Acharya - Nov 19, 2019
After the Chandrayaan 2 mission failed, it didn't take long for ISRO to start working on the next mission, Chandrayaan 3. What should they do this time?
- ISRO Successfully Launched CARTOSAT-3, India's Most Advanced And Complex Imaging Satellite
- Nehru Planetarium’s Giant Moon Dome Is A Tribute To The Chandrayaan 2 Mission
- ISRO To Make A Formal Announcement About The Fate Of Chandrayaan 2's Moon Lander
When Chandrayaan 2 mission didn’t go as expected, our officials at ISRO did everything they could to fix the problem, we even got help from NASA to locate the missing lander. And after all that, we are on the work for Chandrayaan 3 mission. However, to make sure the mission will succeed this time, what does the Indian Space Research Organisation need to remember?
A soft deadline
The deadline for the Chandrayaan 3 is November 2020 and ISRO is already working on it. The space agency hasn’t revealed any details yet, but it has likely already established panels to run the mission. And I think it’s safe to say that they are working quickly to run the deadline, not only to appease the powers but also to prove their own capabilities to themselves.
A budget to beat
It cost ISRO Rs 978 crore to build the Chandrayaan 2 mission, Rs 603 of which was spent on developing the rover, lander, and orbiter, while the rest was spent on creating the GSLV Mk III rocket.
This makes the Chandrayaan 2 many times cheaper than NASA missions, but the space agency will surely work on even less money this time. The last time was the first time they had built something, and the mission failed because it’s no easy task to conquer space. But those who allocate the expenses don’t really care about that. So even if the budget this time is the same as last time, ISRO wants to build the mission with less money.
The braking system and communications need improvements
The Vikram lander crashed just when it was in the final stage of landing on the lunar surface. Everything appeared to be going as planned until the lander lost contact with the ground team. Just that was enough to make throw the lander off course and fall quickly.
So this time, the space agency had better figure out a way to make the communication signals stronger or they have to somehow program the lander module so that it can find the way and navigate itself to a good landing spot automatically. This will help reduce the impact of connectivity loss.
ISRO will also change the Chandrayaan 3’s physical structure. As the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter still works well, the next mission won’t likely have its own orbiter. Instead, there may be one simple detachable module that has propulsion systems to help the lander and the rover into lunar orbit.
Besides, ISRO also wants to make the lander’s legs stronger. This is important in case a similar incident occurs and the lander descends too fast. Stronger legs will make sure they are less likely to crumple when affected by a speedy descent. The legs will also likely be modified to further lower the center of gravity of the module to help it avoid falling.
With the Chandrayaan still floating around the Moon, ISRO can better scout the landing area that the Vikram was supposed to touch. Maybe next year, the space agency will find a better spot for landing.