Na­tion’s gi­ant leap for wom­ankind

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE -

The coun­try is plan­ning to send its first manned mis­sion to space in De­cem­ber 2021, which will in­clude at least one woman, In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO) chief K Si­van said on Fri­day. The manned mis­sion would . be pre­ceded by two un­manned mis­sions.

“We are plan­ning to have the first un­manned mis­sion in De­cem­ber 2020 and sec­ond for July 2021. Once we com­plete this, the manned mis­sion will hap­pen in De­cem­ber 2021. The en­tire team is geared up to achieve this tar­get,” Si­van said.

“Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said be­fore Au­gust 15, 2022, Ga­ganyaan should hap­pen, but we are say­ing De­cem­ber 2021,” Si­van said, adding that 32 space mis­sions would be launched in 2020, of which 14 would be launch ve­hi­cle mis­sions.

Bengaluru: Declar­ing that In­dia’s sec­ond Moon mis­sion is planned for mid-April this year, ISRO on Fri­day said it was also gear­ing up for its maiden hu­man space­flight pro­gramme ‘Ga­ganyaan’ by 2021-end that may in­clude at least a woman as­tro­naut.

The space agency had ear­lier said Chan­drayaan-2 will be launched in a win­dow from Jan­uary-Fe­bru­ary 16, 2019.

“Right now Chan­drayaan is sched­uled from March 25 to April end. Most prob­a­bly, the nor­mal tar­geted date is April mid­dle,” ISRO Chair­man K Si­van said.

The space agency had ear­lier planned to launch the space­craft some­time be­tween Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary but it could not ma­te­ri­alise be­cause cer­tain tests could not be con­ducted, Si­van told re­porters as he laid out ISRO’s pro­grammes.

“If we miss April, it will go to June,” he said in re­sponse to a ques­tion about the next launch win­dow avail­able, adding that “but, we will be tar­get­ing April”.

Chan­drayaan-2 mis­sion, cost­ing nearly Rs 800 crore, is an ad­vanced ver­sion of the pre­vi­ous Chan­drayaan-1 mis­sion about 10 years ago. It is a to­tally indige­nous ven­ture and com­prises an or­biter, a lan­der and a rover.

After a con­trolled de­scent, the lan­der will soft-land on the lu­nar sur­face at a spec­i­fied

site and de­ploy a rover, ac­cord­ing to the In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ISRO).

The six-wheeled rover will move around the land­ing site on the lu­nar sur­face in a semi-au­tonomous mode as de­cided by the ground com­mands.

The in­stru­ments on the rover will ob­serve the lu­nar sur­face and send back data, which will be use­ful for anal­y­sis of the lu­nar soil.

The 3,290-kg Chan­drayaan-2 will or­bit the Moon and per­form the ob­jec­tives of re­mote sens­ing it.

The pay­loads will col­lect sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion on lu­nar to­pog­ra­phy, min­er­al­ogy, el­e­men­tal abun­dance, lu­nar ex­o­sphere and sig­na­tures of hy­droxyl and wa­ter-ice, the space agency said.

It might take 35 to 45 days to reach the Moon after the launch, as ISRO plans sixstage or­bit rais­ing ma­noeu­vres, Si­van said.

Not­ing that In­dia is nowhere be­hind China, Si­van said Bei­jing has landed on the far side of the Moon and “we are go­ing to land at a place where no­body else has gone- the Moon’s south pole.” “All the land­ing hap­pened near equa­tor re­gion, in the vis­i­ble re­gion; no­body has gone to South Pole. We are go­ing there, and sci­en­tists feel that the sci­ence we are go­ing to get from there is large.

—PTI

Chair­man K Si­van shares the plan to send as­tro­nauts on ISRO’s ve­hi­cle

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