India's Moon Exploration Program

spikey360

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I am astounded that the country helping us with building bullet trains infrastructure is the same country which landed on the moon for the first time, a few months after us.
It just goes to show that we Bharatiyas can achieve whatever we set our minds to. Just because we have not achieved something does not mean we didn't because we couldn't. It could just be prioritisation playing it's role.
Japan is a noble and great civilization. My congratulations and respect for the Japanese people.
 

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From TitaniumSV5's thread on twitter.

A concept of Chandrayaan 4 lunar sample return under study(there are other concepts under study):
GERDOpeaAAARsG0.jpeg


Two new throttleable engine of 1.5kN and 3.1kN are being designed for the LUPEX lander (joint lunar mission of ISRO and JAXA). LUPEX mission total mass ~6.5ton for Lander + Rover configuration. Lander dry mass targetted at ~1051kg.
GEREU8Eb0AAYJdX.jpeg


Chandrayaan 3 propulsion system architecture:
GERHXAubwAAgD-e.jpeg
 

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ISRO working on ambitious lunar missions LUPEX, Chandrayaan-4: Official

ANI
Synopsis
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on two lunar exploration missions following the successful soft-landing of Chandrayaan-3's lander on the Moon. The missions, LuPEx and Chandrayaan-4, aim to land 350 kg landers on the darker side of the Moon with precise landing technology and a sample return mission, respectively.
Following the successful soft-landing of the Chandrayaan-3 lander on the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now working on two other lunar exploration missions.
Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC/ISRO), Ahmedabad, Nilesh Desai said the two ambitious lunar missions -- LuPEx and Chandrayaan-4 aim at landing huge 350 kg landers on 90-degree (the darker side) of the moon with precise landing technology and sample return mission respectively.
Addressing a gathering on the 62nd foundation day celebration of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune on Friday, Desai said, "After the euphoria generated after Chandrayaan 3 mission now we are going to work on the joint Lunar Polar exploration Mission, this time (Chandrayaan-3) we went up to 70 degrees, in LuPEx mission we will go up to 90 degrees to observe the dark side of the moon and landing a huge rover there which weigh up to 350 kg, Chandrayaan-3 rover was 30 kg only therefore lander will also be huge in this mission."
Speaking about the Chandrayaan 4 Mission, Desai said,"During a discussion about space programmes after Chandrayaan 3 success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted us to take up the bigger challenges now."
"There are challenges with the new mission...hopefully we will be able to do it in the next 5 to 10 years," the scientist said.
He added, "The Japanese have already launched a moon mission on September 7 that will do precise landing, so this technology will be used in this mission also becouse we trying to do a very challenging precise landing on the rim of a crater at 90 degree with 350 kg rover with an exploration area of 1 km x 1km (Chandrayan 3 was 500 meter x500 meter)."
He elaborated that while the Chandrayan 3 mission was for only one moon day the forthcoming mission will last for a duration of 7 lunar days, which equals almost 100 earth days... S these are the challanges with the new mission so hopefully we will be able to do it in next 5 to 10 years".
On the Chandrayaan-4 mission, the scientist said, "We have planned Chandrayaan-4 mission this would be called lunar sample return Mission in this mission we will land and will be able to come back with a sample from lunar surface ...in this mission, the landing will be similar like Chandrayan-3 but the central module will come back after docking with the orbiting module which will later separate near to earth atmosphere and re-entry module will come back with the sample of the soil and rock of the moon ...it's a very ambitious mission hopefully in next five to seven years we will meet this challenge of bringing sample from the surface of the moon."
He further said, "It would need two launch vehicles so there will be two launches because four modules (Transfer module Lander Module Ascender Module and Re-entry module) to be launched, RM and TM would be Parked in the lunar orbit and two will go down from which Ascender Module will get separated from lander module and would collect the sample ..we have all this on paper right now and we are working on different technology to achieve this and it's achievable with available capabilities at the ISRO."
Presently, ISRO is in the midst of preparations for its next space venture in collaboration with the Japanese space agency, JAXA. Dubbed as LuPEX, or Lunar Polar Exploration.
On August 23, India took a giant leap as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon's South Pole, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat and bringing to an end the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2, four years ago. India became the fourth country - after the US, China, and Russia - to have successfully landed on the moon's surface.
After having landed, the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover performed different sets of tasks on the lunar surface, including finding the presence of sulphur and other minor elements, recording relative temperature, and listening to movements around it.
Soon after the soft landing of Chandrayaan-3, India launched its maiden solar mission Aditya-L1 on September 2. So far in its journey, the spacecraft has undergone four earth-bound manoeuvres and a Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvres, all successfully. In the process, the spacecraft successfully escaped the sphere of Earth's influence.
 

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Quoted in TOI too now.
India will launch two rockets to complete a single mission — the country’s fourth moon mission Chandrayaan-4 that will bring moon rocks and soil (regolith) back to Earth
Two separate rockets — heavy-lifter LVM-3 and Isro’s workhorse PSLV — will carry different payloads for the same moon mission and will be launched on different days. If successful, Chandrayaan-4, which is slated to be launched not before 2028, will make India the fourth nation with capability to bring back samples from the lunar surface
Unlike previous Moon missions, which involved 2-3 modules, the Chandrayaan-4 mission will consist of a total of five spacecraft modules. These are the propulsion module, descender module, ascender module, transfer module and re-entry module, the presentation said.
While the four-tonne payload lifter LVM-3 will carry three modules —propulsion, descender and ascender modules, PSLV will launch the transfer and re-entry modules. The two rockets will be launched at different interval of time — one set of modules is likely to take the longer Earth-orbit manoeuvre route and use moon's gravity to travel to the lunar orbit in around 40 days to lessen fuel expense, the other set of modules is likely to travel straight to the lunar orbit like Russia's Luna-25 did by burning fuel.
The propulsion module will guide Chandrayaan-4 to the lunar orbit after performing Earth-bound orbit manoeuvers like Chandrayaan-3 module did. It will later get separated in the lunar orbit. The descender module will make the lunar landing, similar to Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3. The ascender module, introduced for the first time in India's noon mission, will collect and store rock and regolith samples from the lunar surface and will lift off from the moon and reach the lunar orbit where it will dock with the transfer orbit, The transfer module will be responsible for grabbing the ascender module, collecting lunar samples from it and then carrying the samples back to Earth’s orbit; and the re-entry module will safely land with the moon samples on Earth.
Chandrayaan-4 will carry five payloads:
  1. Propulsion Module (PM) -- guide spacecraft to lunar orbit
  2. Descender Module (DM) -- make lunar landing
  3. Ascender Module (AM) -- will collect lunar samples and lift off from Moon to lunar orbit
  4. Transfer module (TM) -- will dock with ascender, get samples and return to Earth’s orbit
  5. Re-entry module (RM) -- land on Earth with lunar samples
Two launch vehicles involved:
  1. Isro's workhorse PSLV rocket
  2. Heavy-lifter LVM rocket
Launch date: Around 2028

Mission objectives:
  1. To perform safe and softlanding on lunar surface
  2. To demonstrate lunar sample collection and containersiation
  3. Demonstrate ascend from Moon's surface
  4. Demonstrate docking and undocking in lunar orbit
  5. Demonstrate transfer of samples from one module to other
  6. To demonstrate return and re-entry to Earth for sample delivery
 

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India's Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander barely kicked up any moon dust. Here's why that matters
A unique configuration of engines helped India's Chandrayaan-3 lander Vikram ace its historic moon landing.
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The Chandrayaan 3 mission's Vikram lander photographed on the moon's surface by the Pragyan rover. (Image credit: ISRO)
India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, which aced its historic landing near the moon's south pole last August, barely kicked up any moon dust during descent thanks to a unique configuration of engines, a new study reveals. As a result, its cameras got clear views of the landing region during the critical minutes prior to touchdown, therefore capturing images that helped the spacecraft avoid hazardous craters and ultimately land safely.
"When you're heading [to the south pole], the scientifically interesting areas are always the hazardous regions," said Suresh K, a scientist with the Space Applications Centre (SAC), a research institution of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Gujarat, India.
Speaking on Monday (March 11) at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LSPC), which is being held this week in Texas, K shared with scientists pre- and post-landing images from the mission, which operated on the moon for two weeks before succumbing, as expected, to frigid lunar night temperatures.
During descent, spacecraft fire their engines to reduce their speeds in preparation for a soft landing. The exhaust from these engines then strikes the moon's surface, whose powder-like regolith typically blows into a large plume thanks to the moon's low gravity and lack of atmosphere.
Cameras onboard the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, however, detected the resultant dust plume beginning at just 59 feet (18 meters) above the moon's surface. This marks the least amount of moon dust ever kicked up during a moon landing among missions including NASA's Apollo ones and China's Chang'e-3 endeavors, K said.
He and his colleagues analyzed pre- and post-landing images of the touchdown area clicked by the lander named Vikram (Sanskrit for "valor") as well as by a high-resolution camera onboard the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which has continued to circle the moon since its lander-rover duo crashed during touchdown in 2019. The sprayed dust stemming from Vikram's touchdown settled down into about 1,561 square feet (145 square meters) around the lander, as confirmed by a camera onboard the rover Pragyan (Sanskrit for "wisdom"). This is higher than previous estimates of 1,167 square feet (108 square meters), meaning the spacecraft would have displaced much more than 4,500 pounds (2 metric tons) of lunar regolith.
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The first image of the lunar surface beamed back from ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 moon lander. (Image credit: ISRO via Twitter)
Presenting the new findings at LPSC on Monday, K attributed the intriguingly short dust plume to the lack of a central engine on the spacecraft, which resulted in a lower engine thrust during descent. Starting its “rough braking phase” at an orbit of 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) above the lunar surface, when the spacecraft reached 0.4 miles (0.8 kilometers) above its targeted landing area, it switched off two of its four 800-newton engines such that two diagonal engines remained operational all the way until touchdown. The mission used the "least powerful engine till date," K said. "We've observed very less disturbance on the surface."
In addition to the diagonal positioning of the operating engines, the plume's height was influenced by the spacecraft's mass as well as local properties of the regolith. The Chandrayaan-3 mission team is still analyzing the data on that front and expects to make it public in two months, K told scientists at LPSC on Monday.
Vikram and Pragyan notched several milestones during their two operating weeks at the landing site, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi named the Shiv Shakti Point (Sanskrit for "Shiva" and "power" respectively). The name is yet to be approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization responsible for officially naming celestial bodies and their features.
By lunar nightfall, the Pragyan rover had traversed 331 feet (101 meters) on the lunar surface, detected sulfur on the moon, rerouted after coming across a potentially deadly crater and sampled lunar regolith at seven or eight locations, said Pratim Das, the director of the science program office at ISRO in Bengaluru.
1710853045396.png

Chandrayaan-3's landing site before landing (left) and after (right), with a composite showing the ejecta halo surrounding the Vikram lander. (Image credit: ISRO via Twitter)
The seismometer onboard Vikram also sensed several "naturally occurring events" on the moon, including moonquakes and micrometeorite impacts, whose analysis is ongoing, he said. An onboard thermal probe for the first time shallowly sank about 4 inches (10 centimeters) into the surface, capturing the temperature of lunar soil at different depths.
With the Chandrayaan-3 mission now in rearview, India is planning its next moon mission, Chandrayaan-4, which is tentatively scheduled to lift off in 2028 and aims to bring moon rocks to Earth. Modi previously said the country should aim to put an astronaut on the moon by 2040, but neither ISRO nor its partner institutions have shared details about how they plan to achieve that vision.
 

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