Moon Lander to be Tested in Karnataka Today

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Moon Lander to be Tested in Karnataka Today

Chandrayaan 2’s landing sensors to be tested at artificial site at Challakere which resembles Moon surface. 

Bengaluru: Karnataka will play host to Chandrayaan-2 lunar lander’s sensors that are set to undergo a series of crucial tests soon ahead of a planned take-off in around two months.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fly the sensors on an aircraft over its artificial lunar site at Challakere to test how they will function and guide the Chandrayaan-2 landing craft when it starts descending on the lunar terrain. The test flight is slated tentatively for today (Nov 24).

The orbiter carrying the lander and a rover is scheduled to be sent to the Moon from Sriharikota on January 31 and expected to reach there sometime in February 2019.

The test on ground, called the Lander Sensor Performance Test or LSPT, will be conducted at ISRO’s new R&D campus in Chitradurga district, about 200 km from here, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan was quoted by The Hindu.

The pre-programmed mission uses a large number of sensors. Among them are those that guide the lander to precisely assess its height from the landing spot; decide its speed and help it to steer clear of any boulders or uneven surface.

For the test, a prototype module carrying the sensors will be flown on one of ISRO’s two small aircraft. As the plane descends from around 7 km to about 1 km over the artificial terrain, the sensors must show how they will guide the soft landing of the lunar craft at the right spot, speed and position.

About two years back, ISRO had started readying a part of the Challakere site to resemble lunar craters and had conducted a few preliminary sensor tests.