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Business News/ Science / News/  Chandrayaan 4 mission will be 'extremely challenging': ISRO chief Somanath shares details about next lunar project
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Chandrayaan 4 mission will be 'extremely challenging': ISRO chief Somanath shares details about next lunar project

ISRO chief S Somanath explained the factors that make the next Chandrayaan mission extremely challenging. He informed that the mission has to be accomplished in 2027.

 ISRO Chairman S Somanath shares shares details about next Chandrayaan project (PTI)Premium
ISRO Chairman S Somanath shares shares details about next Chandrayaan project (PTI)

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somanath said the mission to bring back lunar samples is yet to be approved, and that several questions related to it are being "debated and discussed". He also explained the factors that make the "next Chandrayaan mission" extremely challenging.

Speaking at the National Space Science Symposium last week, Somanath said, "...many things come to our minds whether we should repeat such a mission or bring samples or will we do a type of mission different from what others did. This question is still being debated and discussed."

ALSO READ: Chandrayaan 3: What is India's mission to moon? Why is it important?

Sonamath explains how the next lunar mission will be more challenging than Chandrayaan 2 and 3:

1. Somanath said there's a need for multiple launchers for this mission. However, the Chandrayaan 3 mission was launched in a single phase. The mission has to demonstrate return and re-entry to Earth for sample delivery.

2. He also said the team "must have docking capability either on earth orbit or on the Moon's orbit...failure in docking mission can make a mission to fail."

ALSO READ: India's Chandrayaan-2 guides Japan's SLIM mission to land on Moon

3. "We must have the robotic capability to operate a drill, select a sample and load it in compartments" to keep the samples very safe, Somanath said. One of the objectives of the mission is to demonstrate the transfer of samples from one module to the other.

4. The ISRO chief also spoke about the technical capabilities. "We first started with remote sensing, then we looked at the in-situ observations. The third phase is to bring (lunar) samples back to Earth for greater laboratory observations and analysis," Somanath said.

Next lunar mission yet to finalised

The ISRO chief added that currently, the scientists are working on a concept by which India would be able to go to the Moon, collect samples of various natures, bring it back to Earth and hand it over for further studies.

"The architecture around and correct knowledge and skill of rocket people as well as satellite people have been worked out. Scientific goals have to be now separated out," he said.

He further informed that the mission has to be accomplished in 2027. "We have to work together to make sure that another Chandrayaan mission happens in such architecture," he said.

Chandrayaan 3 Vs Chandrayaan 4:

As per the presentation by the ISRO chief, the upcoming lunar mission will involve a PSLV and an LVM3 as launch vehicle options. The mission will include five spacecraft modules - Re-entry module (RM), Transfer Module (TM), Ascender Module (AM), Descender Module (DM) and Propulsion Module (PM).

However, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft consisted of three main components - the Lander Module, the Rover and the Propulsion Module.

 

Screenshot from video presentation by S Somanath.
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Screenshot from video presentation by S Somanath. (National Space Science Symposium)

India created history with successful launch of the Chandrayaan-3 mission in 2023. The Lander Module (LM) of ISRO’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14, successfully landed on the Moon's south pole on August 23.

The mission conducted several in-situ scientific experiments on the lunar surface. On August 30, the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope instrument onboard 'Pragyan' rover of Chandrayaan-3 ‘unambiguously confirmed’ the presence of sulphur in the lunar surface near south pole. Other elements like Aluminum (Al), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), Titanium (Ti), Manganese (Mn), Silicon (Si), and Oxygen (O) are also detected.

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Published: 06 Mar 2024, 05:34 PM IST
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