The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning an ambitious mission to bring back soil or rock samples from the Moon. The mission, which is expected to be launched in 2028, will use two separate launch vehicles to carry four modules: Transfer, Lander, Ascender, and Re-entry.
“ISRO is now planning a bigger mission, where we will try to bring back soil or rock samples. Hopefully, in the next five to seven years, we will be able to meet this challenge,” Nilesh Desai, Director, Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, was quoted as saying by an English daily.
The samples will be collected from the Shiv Shakti point on the lunar surface. The Lander module will land on the Moon and collect the samples using a robotic arm. The samples will then be transferred to the Ascender module, which will lift off from the Moon and dock with the Transfer module. The Transfer module will then return to Earth, carrying the samples.
This is a major step forward for India’s space program. Bringing back lunar samples will allow scientists to study the Moon in more detail and learn more about its history.
The use of two separate launch vehicles is a departure from the norm for ISRO. In the past, ISRO has used a single launch vehicle for its missions. However, the Lunar Sample Return Mission (LSRM) is more complex and requires more payload, so two launch vehicles are needed.
The first launch vehicle will carry the Lander and Ascender modules. The second launch vehicle will carry the Transfer and Re-entry modules.
The four modules of the LSRM are:
- Transfer module: This module will carry the samples back to Earth.
- Lander module: This module will land on the Moon and collect the samples.
- Ascender module: This module will lift off from the Moon and dock with the Transfer module.
- Re-entry module: This module will protect the samples during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
The LSRM is expected to be launched in 2028. The mission is expected to take about 14 Earth days to complete.