ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission is under way and the premier space agency is aiming to liftoff next year. Ahead of the launch, ISRO is creating artificial Moon craters in Ullarthi Kavalu, Challakere, some 215km from Bengaluru. The Moon craters will play a vital role in tests for the Chandryaan-3 lander.
ISRO Creates Moon Craters
The Times of India reports sources citing the artificial Moon craters would be 10m in diameter and 3m in depth. “We’ve already called for tenders and the process of identifying a firm for all the civil works will be complete by the month end of September,” TOI reports. The report further notes that the Moon crater would cost at least Rs. 24.2 lakhs.
With the artificial Moon craters, ISRO will simulate the lunar surface on which the Chandryaan-3 is meant to land. The lander’s sensors will undergo a crucial test called the Lander Sensor Performance Test (LSPT). It will involve us flying the sensors on an aircraft over the artificial lunar site and see how efficient they are in guiding the lander, an ISRO scientist said.
Further, the testing will involve an ISRO aircraft descend with sensors from an altitude of 7km over the artificial lunar surface. When the aircraft is about 2km from the landing surface, the sensors are expected to guide the craft to a smooth landing.
ISRO Chandrayaan-3 Testing
The Chandrayaan-3 has its own set of mission checklist. More importantly, the mission aims to succeed in areas where the Chandrayaan-2 failed. “The focus on thorough testing is higher than Chandrayaan-2 this time,” a scientist quoted. To ensure a smooth flow of things, ISRO is looking at testing a full-fledged lander at ISITE (Isro Satellite Integration and Test Establishment) in Bengaluru.
Also, just like the previous program, the Chandryaan-3 will be a highly autonomous and pre-programmed mission involving many sensors. Looking back, ISRO had created similar craters for the Chandrayaan-2 mission. However, since it was created on open land, it’s deteriorated over time and requires fresh craters for testing the new aircraft and sensors.
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