Kolkata scientists prep for 2018 lunar mission along with Team Indus

The nation’s space industry has come of age, and many private players and educational institutions are in the fray. For the first time in the history of Indian space research, scientists from Kolkata have made an instrument which will be sent with the payload to the moon. The instrument will land on the lunar surface in January 2018 to commemorate the 69th Republic Day.

The instrument will be a part of the mission to unfurl the nation’s Tricolor on the moon’s surface. Team Indus, which is a consortium of private players, has embarked on an ambitious project to send a lunar lander to the moon in December 2017. The Bengaluru-based company will also carry the four kg payload aboard the lander. The lander and at least two rovers will be sent aboard the workhorse of the Indian Space Research Organisation, PSLV.

However it will not be an easy venture, and the model will have to be handed over by March 2017. It will be subjected to a series of tests to ascertain if the instrument can withstand the rigors of the launch and the journey to the only satellite of earth. The instrument will also have to endure extreme fluctuations of temperatures and pressure and will have to work in the near vacuum and airless conditions on the moon.

The instrument will have an X-ray detector along with four hi-tech computers and other complex parts. The instrument will increase our understandings about black holes, dark energy, radiations and intergalactic cosmic rays. India’s earlier Chandrayaan I mission was limited to the mapping of the moon. The mission had many achievements to its name including the first confirmation of water on the Moon’s poles, an achievement which was even acknowledged by NASA.

The race to the moon has intensified, and the country has also joined the quest for the exploitation of the mineral wealth on the moon. The moon has an inexhaustible deposit of Helium 3, which will serve a significant role in Thermonuclear Energy. The Moon will also be used as a springboard for future deep space journeys.

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