India will Send a Mission to the Moon and its Cheaper than Interstellar Movie

India will Send a Mission to the Moon and its Cheaper than Interstellar Movie

Warm hole. Caption from Interstellar movie.

“The space agency is planning to launch Chandrayan-2 Mission around April this year.” MoS PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh said.

India had its first mission to Moon in 2008. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched it in October and it operated till August of next year. This mission took Indian space program to a new level as they managed to develop a technology that allowed them to explore the Moon. It was a huge occasion for the nation as they are only the 4th country to place their flag on Moon. The sub-surface soil was extracted which could be analyzed for the presence of water. This mission became popular in the world due to its cost-effectiveness. It costed around $60 million. It seems that ISRO wants to keep this tradition alive through Chandrayan-2.

This is India’s 2nd visit to Moon and what is making it more special, is the cost. ISRO launched a mission to Mars under the name ‘Mission Mangalyaan’, keeping the budget less, than the amount spent to make ‘Gravity’. They seem to be following this amazing trend as the launching of Chandrayan-2 will cost less than the Hollywood film, ‘Interstellar’. If you want to compare them, here is a statistical fact that might amaze you. This mission will cost around 800 crore Indian rupees while Interstellar costed $165 million which is equivalent to 1062 crore Indian rupees. The reasons for such cost-effective lunar and inter-planetary ventures were explained pretty precisely by Dr. K. Sivan, who is chairman of ISRO. He said,

Simplifying the system, miniaturizing the complex big system, strict quality control and maximizing output from a product make our space missions frugal and cost-effective. We keep a strict vigil on each and every stage of development of a spacecraft or a rocket and, therefore, we are able to avoid wastage of products, which helps us minimize the mission cost.

India’s first mission to the Moon

This mission is going to be a bit challenging for the authorities as the spacecraft will be carrying an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. This is going to happen for the first time in the history of Indian space explorations. According to Dr. Singh, India will be able to put itself at a higher trajectory in terms of space technology with this mission. The launch date is dependent on various factors but ISRO wants it to happen somewhere in April. The relative position of Moon with respect to Earth is a key factor in determining that historic day. Dr. Sivan summarized this debate in the following words as he said,

We are trying for a dawn-to-dusk landing and rover walk on the lunar’s mission for maximum utilization of the scientific mission. If we are not able to land in April due to various factors, then the mission will be launched in November. If we launch between April and November, we won’t get the perfect dawn-to-dusk landing and experiment time due to moon eclipses, therefore, we will avoid the launch in between. The perfect timing for the launch comes only once in a month.

Indian authorities have claimed that this mission is not only cost-effective (20 times less cost than NASA) but it has more power than the Apollo Missions launched by NASA. If these claims are true, this is an incredible effort from the team members of Chandrayan-2. The lander is responsible for a close view of Moon’s crust and mantle, the orbiter will fly above the surface to capture its map while the rover will crawl on the surface to analyze soil and ancient rocks. Landing is being planned near the South Pole for this purpose. Dr. Sivan explained it in the following manner:

We have chosen the landing site near the South Pole as it has big rocks that are billions of years old. Analyzing these rocks and the surface will help us explore the moon better and enrich our understanding of the universe.

In light of recent achievements of ISRO, it can be concluded that they have high chances of pulling this off and it will have a lot of significance for the entire world. Dr. Singh claimed that the data provided through this mission will be helpful in finding ways of habitation on Moon. He said,

Chandrayaan-2 will be a breakthrough mission not only for India but for the entire world. The mission will make every Indian proud.

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