UPSC: CHANDRAYAAN-2, LANDER FOR SOFT LANDING
On October 26, 2018, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted crucial tests for smooth and precise landing of Vikram, the lander aboard Chandrayaan 2.
- The Lander Actuator Performance Test (LAPT)aimed to assess the performance of the navigational system onboard the lander.
- For conducting the tests, the mass had been reduced to 1/6th the actual lander.
- The Lander Actuator Performance Test (LAPT) is one of the crucial tests required to be demonstrated for a successful soft and safe landing of Vikram (Chandrayaan-2 Lander).
- To carry out this test, an LAPT module which is a scaled down version of Vikram with all the required hardware was realised for testing in Earth environment.
- The module was tethered to a crane hook for conducting the test. To carry out this test, a special test facility was erected at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.
- The objective of the test was to assess the closed loop integrated performance of Sensors, Actuators and Navigation, Guidance & Control (NGC) and guidance algorithms below 100 m height.
- Three tests have been conceived as part of LAPT Phase-2 activities to demonstrate these objectives. First test was conducted to demonstrate Vertical Descent while second Test was conducted to demonstrate Hovering.
- The third and final test was successfully conducted to demonstrate re-targeting in a Parabolic Trajectory, on 25thOct 2018 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri. This test demonstrated the capability of the NGC system of Vikram to meet the mission requirement of safe, soft and precise landing on the lunar surface by steering the module horizontally as well as vertically down to a pre-defined target.
- ISRO intends to launch Chandrayaan-2sometime in January 2019. The Mission will have an orbiter, lander and a rover.
- Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1.
- Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission is planned to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV III).
- According to ISRO, this mission will use and test various new technologies and conduct new experiments.
- The wheeled rover will move on the lunar surface and will pick up soil or rock samples for on-site chemical analysis. The data will be relayed to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.