Indian Lunar Mission Will Measure Surface Thermal Conductivity

Posted: July 10, 2019 by tallbloke in Astrophysics, exploration, Measurement, moon, News
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Lift-off is scheduled for 2:51GMT on the 15th July 2019

Our friends Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller will be keen to see the data from the Chandrayaan 2 lunar mission scheduled for take-off next week. Among many other experiments planned, the rover will be measuring surface thermal conductivity – a key factor in estimating the global lunar surface temperature.

The daily mail reports:

India’s space agency is preparing to launch its ambitious Chandrayaan-2 mission next week which is set to land near the currently unexplored south pole of the moon.

Chandrayaan-2 will blast off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota on the country’s south west coast at 2.51am (10.21pm BST) on July 15.

It is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) second lunar probe, and the first one destined to land on the moon, and is scheduled to land on September 6.

India will become only the fourth country, after the US, Russia and China, to reach Earth’s satellite if successful.

The ISRO has said it chose to explore the south pole as it is possible there is water in the permanently shadowed areas, which could pave the way for future lunar habitation.

Chandrayaan-2 is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) second lunar probe. It is comprised of three modules, an Orbiter, a Lander called Vikram, and a Rover called Pragyan.

The Orbiter will have a terrain mapping camera to help prepare 3D maps of the moon’s surface, an X-ray spectrometer looking for major elements including titanium and sodium, and another high resolution camera to help the other modules land safely.

Vikram will have an instrument to detect seismic activity on the moon, and a thermal probe that will examine the thermal conductivity of the lunar surface.

Pragyan will have an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer that examines the elemental composition of the surface and a laser induced breakdown spectroscope which looks at the abundance of various elements nearby.

The entire mission has cost around 10 billion rupees (£120million).

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  1. stpaulchuck says:

    won’t that flat nose create quite a lot of drag?? [/snark for those who couldn’t tell, ha ha]