Has ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 mission failed

Author: Thomas Weyrauch / April 28, 2012, 3 p.m.

Chandrayaan 2 has to wait

The second unmanned Indian lunar mission called Chandrayaan 2 will have to wait for the GSLV launcher to prove itself on two successful flights.

Source: IANS, Raumfahrer.net


Chandrayaan 2: Russian lander, Indian mini-rover
(Image: IKI / ISRO)
After the successful launch of the Indian Risat 1 radar satellite on a PSLV rocket, the head of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) K. Radhakrishnan reported to journalists that they were planning to launch two GSLV rockets every six months before the Chandrayaan 2 on the way to the moon.

In October 2008 the first Indian lunar mission started with the lunar orbiter Chandrayaan 1 on a PSLV. For the second Indian mission to the moon, a soft landing on the earth's satellite is planned, with India working with Russia. A Russian lander is supposed to reach the moon with an Indian orbiter, one of the tasks of which will be to bring an Indian mini rover to the surface of the moon. The heavier Chandrayaan 2 probe is expected to be launched by a GSLV. Such a rocket last completed a successful flight in 2004 with Edusat alias GSAT-3.

After multiple failures of the GSLV, some ISRO programs suffer from delays. The cryogenic upper stage constructed in India with a drive for the GSLV built in India was previously part of a single flown GSLV (D3) and did not work. ISRO is currently working intensively on a flight qualification of the level.

According to Radhakrishnan, the next deployment of the Indian cryogenic upper stage on a GSLV is planned for September or October 2012. In the meantime, two ground tests of the liquid hydrogen with liquid oxygen-burning engine of the rocket stage have taken place.

Because when the GSLV-F06 failed in December 2010, its payload fairing with a diameter of four meters was a likely cause of the failure, the proven fairing with a diameter of 3.4 meters will be used again on the next GSLV flight, said Radhakrishnan as well.

It is more than unlikely that Chandrayaan 2 will finally succeed in sending it on a journey to the moon in 2013, as it was once planned. A start in 2014 also seems unrealistic at this point in time. It is not inconceivable that a launcher with Chandrayaan 2 on board will not take off until 2016.

Difficulties in maintaining the maximum possible take-off weight of Chandrayaan 2 and ensuring the required reliability of the components contributed by the Russian side are certainly more fundamental causes of considerable delays. In any case, new GSLV will have to prove in autumn 2012 (presumably as GSLV-D5 with GSAT-14) and in spring 2013 that this type of missile can be used with a certain degree of reliability, because Chandrayaan 2 will be launched on one until further notice such missile provided.

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