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Opinion

ISRO Releases Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter Data: Everything You Need To Know

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The Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) has released the first dataset of all eight instruments aboard India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2. The orbiter, which has completed sixteen months around the moon in lunar orbit, was launched on July 22, 2019, and inserted into lunar orbit on August 20.

At the completion of a year of the orbiter in space, Isro had said that the spacecraft was “in good shape”, the performance of the subsystems was normal and that there was enough fuel on board to remain operational for about seven years.

Here is everything you need to know about the orbiter:

– Chandrayaan-2, described as the most complex mission ever undertaken by Isro, cost less than half the budget of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Avengers Endgame’. The total cost of the mission is estimated at US $ 124 million, while the film has an estimated budget of close to US $ 356 million.

– The mission made India the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

– Chandrayaan-2 consisted of three grouped missions: the orbiter that would circle the moon, the Vikram lander that would make a soft landing near the south pole of the moon, and the Pragyan rover that would explore the lunar surface and observe icy water. The lander and rover were destroyed during the landing attempt in September 2019.

– The Chandrayaan 2 lander ‘Vikram’ was named after the pioneer of India’s space program, physicist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

– Data from seven of the eight instruments were collected by the Indian Space Science Data Center at Karnataka’s Byalalu, where they were prepared in the Planetary Data System 4 (PDS4) format for public release prior to review Scientifically. It was then published through the PRADAN portal hosted by ISSDC at https://pradan.issdc.gov.in.

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