The two South Asian countries India and China have made some significant progress with their Moon landers i.e. Chandrayaan-2 and Chang’e 4 respectively. Chang'e 4 of China was launched on January 3 this year, while ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 will be sent off to the Moon on July the 15, 2019.
China has made history as it became the first country ever to deploy a spacecraft on the far side of the lunar surface. The same move is expected from India’s Chandrayaan-2. It is to be noted that the far side of the Moon is also known as the ‘South Pole – Aitken Basin.’ The place is still a mystery for astronauts and researchers. Therefore, the accomplishment of sending spacecraft to the basin is viewed as a historical one.
News Nation brings to you the detailed comparison between Chandrayaan-2 and Chang’e 4 since they both are lunar missions and are being at the beginning of their journeys:
Chandrayaan-2 is India's second Moon mission after Chandrayaan-1 and it will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on-board GSLV Mk-III on 15th July 2019. The rocket will be propelled to an Earth parking 170 x 40,400 kilometers orbit.
ISRO’s landmark Chandrayaan-2 mission has three elements including the Rover, the Lander and the Orbiter. As soon as the spacecraft will land on the moon, the lander will separate from the Orbiter and then perform a series of complex manoeuvres comprising of tough braking and fine braking. The lander, named Vikram, will land near the Moon’s South Pole on September the 6th, 2019.
Following the Lander, Rover will deploy and perform a few experiments on the lunar surface of a period of one lunar day, which equals 14 days on Earth. In the meantime, the orbiter will continue with its mission, which is scheduled to last a year.
Named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang'e 4 mission is China’s fourth lunar mission in the series. It follows the successful tasks performed by Chang’e-1, Chang’e-2 and Chang’e-3 probes in 2007, 2010 and 2013 respectively.
The total mass of Chang'e-4 spacecraft was around 3,780 kg while the lander and the rover weighs about 1,200 kg and 140 kg respectively. The expedition is made up of two separate elements including the lander, the rover, and a convey of satellites.
The lander is equipped with a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to power the operations. The energy produced will be used to operate scientific loading and seven tools and cameras. will explore the surface of the moon after departing the lander and is equipped with a solar panel to power the vehicle during the mission. The landing site of the Chang'e-4 is the Von Karman crater in the South Pole-Aitken basin. It covers nearly a quarter of the moon's surface.
Chandrayaan-2 Mission: Objectives
To demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the surface of the Moon and to operate a rover on the surface.
To study the surface of the moon.
To study the density of the electrons in the Moon's ionosphere that is the uppermost part of the atmosphere that is ionised by radiation.
To identify or to find out the minerals and indicators of hydroxyl and water molecules.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission is completely an indigenous as all payloads and all parts are developed by India.
Chang'e-4 Mission: Objectives
The primary aim of Chang'e-4 Mission is to measure the chemical compositions of lunar rocks and soils.
To measure the temperature at the lunar surface.
China’s spacecraft consists of low-frequency radio astronomical observation.
To survey the terrain and land reforms.
To discover the mineral composition and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon.
Also, to study the cosmic rays.
Difference between Chandrayaan-2 & Chang’e -4
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 will have an Orbiter which will go around the moon. On the other hand, China’s Chang'e-4 will use relay satellite to halo orbit that is to orbit an empty point in space at the L2 Lagrange Point.
Chandryaan-2 consists of three payloads namely the lander, the rover and the orbiter. Chang'e-4 consists of 4 payloads namely relay satellite, orbiting microsatellite, lander and rover.
Chandrayaan-2 mission is completely indigenous mission that is completely developed in India only. Chang'e-4 carries international payloads which were developed by Germany, Sweden, the Netherland and Saudi Arabia.
Spacecraft properties of Chandrayaan-2: Launch mass Combined: 3,877 kg. Also, Payload mass: Orbiter- 2,379 kg, lander-1,471 kg and rover- 27 kg.
Spacecraft properties of Chang’e-4: Launch mass: Lander- 1200 kg and Rover 140 kg.
After few hours of landing of Chang'e-4 on moon on 3rd January this year, the temperature of biosphere’s was adjusted to 24 degree Celsius and the seeds were watered. On January 15, it was reported cottonseed, rapeseed and potato seeds had sprouted but images of cottonseed were released. And on January 16, the experiment was terminated due to drop in the external temperature. Therefore, the experiment was terminated after nine days instead of 100 days but valuable information was obtained.
On the other side, Chandrayaan-2 will reveal how solar wind interacts with the lunar surface and help in determining the process behind the formation of lunar water.