There has been a lot of discussion in India about ISRO and space for some time. The main reason for this discussion is India’s much awaited Chandrayaan-2 campaign. Under this campaign, India is going to take off the rover on the lunar surface for the first time, but this campaign was stopped at the last time due to technical flaws. This technical problem is related to the launch vehicle Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-GSLV Mark III, through which it was to be launched. The liquid hydrogen fuel of this launch vehicle is estimated to be disturbed. Time is an important role to launch any space mission, this mission of India can now be sent only at fixed time after removing technical flaws.
Why is the role of time important in space mission?
For the release of Chandrayaan-2 campaign, the 15th and 16th of July was ensured. But it has been postponed for some time due to technical flaws. It will take a few days to correct these flaws. Despite this, the campaign is likely to take longer to launch. An important reason for this is the moon’s launch time limit (Launch WIndow). Launch window means the right time to send any space mission so that the mission can be protected from other problems. It is worth noting that on the Moon, about 28 days (corresponding to Earth Day) are half the time in the day and half the night.
In order to increase the activeness of any mission, it is necessary that a campaign is released at such a time that proper lighting is maintained for the equipment of the vehicle, so that the equipment can operate freely. Also, a certain time is also necessary so that Chandrayaan-2 can be tracked from the earth and the time of landing on the moon can be determined according to the position of the vehicle. There is a planned time interval of 54 days between the launch of Chandrayaan 2 from Earth and the landing of the moon on the moon. However, there is a limited time for the decision to land the vehicle on the moon, so it is necessary that the vehicle is launched at the right time so that the vehicle can be launched on the moon at the given time. This type of launch window is available every month in the context of the Moon, so it is believed that Chandrayaan-2 can be launched next month if the shortcomings related to rocket fuel are removed on time.
GSLV Mark III required
India has mastered PSLV technology over the last three decades. After the year 1990, only two of its flights have failed. But PSLV has limited load carrying capacity. Therefore, India has felt the need for a capable launch vehicle to place its heavy payload into space and carry out large missions.
Keeping in mind the above requirements, India has developed GSLV launch vehicle. Different types of fuels are used in this type of vehicles, which gives the vehicle a large amount of thrust. This makes its load-carrying capacity much more than PSLV, as well as ease of sending payloads to remote space. For example, Chandrayaan 2 weighs four thousand kg. , Which is to be launched by Mark III, the most advanced version of GSLV. Cryogenic engines have been used in this version.
Cryogenic technology is a complex technique related to extremely low temperatures, but is required for heavy launch vehicles such as the Mark III. Hydrogen is considered the best fuel to provide thrust, but hydrogen is found in a natural form in gaseous state. In this state it is difficult to control, so it is used by converting it into a liquid state. The use of hydrogen in the liquid state requires a temperature of minus 250 degrees Celsius. Oxygen is also used in liquid form in this type of technology. To use oxygen in a liquid state, a temperature of minus 90 degrees Celsius is required. In this situation, using other substances with these gases in an engine is a very complex process.
The history of development of GSLV technology for India is three decades old. India initially tried to get this technology from the US in the 1980s, but after America’s refusal, India had to turn to indigenization. But Indian efforts did not live up to the expectation and India tried to get cryogenic engine technology from Russia, but due to US pressure, India could not get this technology from Russia. Subsequently, India started an effort to manufacture cryogenic technology itself at the LPSC (Liquid Propulsion Systems Center) center in Thiruvananthapuram. In the year 2014, India achieved significant success in this area and after that, Mark 2017 launch vehicle was successfully used twice in the year 2017 and 2018. Presently ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 mission is the most important mission sent by this launch vehicle.
- GSLV Mark III is a high propulsion capability vehicle developed by ISRO. Through this, 4 tons of geo-synchronous satellites of India can be placed in orbit. Thus India will become fully self-sufficient in terms of satellite launch.
- GLSV Mark III height 43.43 m. And the lift of mass is 640 tons. There are three stages in which the indigenous cryogenic engine ‘CE-20’ will be used.
- Recently in November 2018, the GSLV Mark-III D2 launch vehicle was used to put the GSAT-29 communication satellite into orbit.
- ISRO currently has the capability to launch payloads of up to 2.2 tonnes only and has to depend on foreign countries to launch more than that.
- GSLV Mark-3 will be India’s most powerful launch vehicle capable of placing four tonnes of weight communication satellites in a geosynchronous orbit with a height of 36,000 km. It is known that currently GSLV Mark-II has a capacity of about 2 tonnes.
- An important feature of the GSLV Mark III is that it uses the third stage of the Indian cryogenic engine and has a higher payload carrying capacity than the current GSLV.
Chandrayaan 2 campaign
India’s ambitious mission is to land the lander of Chandrayaan-2 mission on the Moon’s South Pole. With its successful landing, India will become the fourth country in the world to reach the lunar surface. Prior to this, Soviet Russia, America and China have successfully carried out their operations. The presence of water on the lunar surface will be detected under this mission. It is noteworthy that the possibility of getting water at the south pole of the moon has been claimed.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission is to be launched from Sriharikota. This (India’s second mission to the moon) is a completely indigenous mission. This mission has three components – the orbiter, the lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragya). GSLV Mark-III will place the Chandrayaan-2 arbiter and lander into the Earth’s orbit, after which it will be delivered to the Moon’s orbit. After Chandrayaan-2 reaches the lunar orbit, the lander will make a soft landing on the lunar surface and deploy the rover. Devices mounted on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send data, which will be useful for the analysis of the lunar soil.
Moon’s South Pole
- It is the first vehicle in the world that is going to the Moon’s South Pole. Earlier, China’s Chang’e-4 vehicle made a landing at some distance from the South Pole.
- Till now this field is unknown to scientists.
- The area is more likely to have water in the form of snow due to its greater shade compared to other parts of the Moon.
- If Chandrayaan-2 can find ice here, then in future the chances of making human stoppable system will increase. Also, base camps will be built here and new exploration will be opened in space.
Mission Chandrayaan-2 is believed to be very important in India’s space race. It is important to note that earlier such missions have been successfully completed by only 3 countries. The Mark III version of GSLV was to be used for this mission, but the mission has been postponed due to the drawback. It is to be known that India has plans to send humans to space in the near future, as well as India wants to make more commercial use of the space sector in future. India’s above mentioned programs and prospects are largely dependent on Mark III of GSLV.
In the past, the failure rate for missions sent to the moon has been around 50 percent. Shortly before, Israel’s mission to land on the moon has failed. The success of such campaigns for any country puts a question mark on their future programs. In such a situation, the suspension of the mission by India in time should be considered a commendable step, because the suspension of the mission is not a sign of the failure of the mission. Sometimes one has to step back to move forward two steps. This decision of ISRO will prove to be important for the possibilities in India’s space in the coming time.