New Delhi, July 11: Ten years after India’s first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch the second and more ambitious Chandrayaan-2. Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, is scheduled for a July 15 launch.
The fundamental difference of course is that Chandrayaan-1 did not involve landing on the surface of earth’s only natural satellite, whereas in Chandrayaan-2, a lander will make a soft landing on the surface of the moon which would then send out a rover to explore and collect scientific data.
Apart from this there are many other differences between both the missions. To begin with, the net weight of the spacecraft which was carried by PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) for Chandrayaan-1 on October 22, 2008, was 1380 kgs. The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighs approximately 3290 kilograms and it would launched by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (or GSLV Mk) rocket.
Chandrayaan-1 was carried a range of scientific equipments, both Indian and international, to the lunar orbit. The probe collected a lot of significant data over its mission. During Chandrayaan-1, the Mini-Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) found water-ice deposits in craters on the far side of the moon which was considered as a significant finding. Chandrayaan-1 orbited the moon a distance of 100 kilometres from its surface, with a mission of chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the lunar satellite.
In Chandrayaan-2, a total of 13 payloads are distributed across the three modules where the Orbiter and Vikram Lander are stacked upon each other whereas the Pragyan Rover is housed inside the lander. Chandarayan-1, involved surveying the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. Chandrayaan-1 was in operation for 312 days. Chandrayaan-2, equipped with a lander and rover, will observe the lunar surface and send back data which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil. The lander will carry instruments like a seismometer and a thermal probe, and the rover will carry spectrometers to analyse the lunar soil.