Historic! New ISRO mission will bring Moon soil samples from Shiv Shakti point to Earth
ISRO is aiming at a historic Lunar Sample Return Mission! The Indian space agency is aiming to bring Moon soil from Shiv Shakti point to Earth in a first-of-its-kind venture.
In a groundbreaking venture, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for its inaugural attempt to collect soil or rock samples from the Moon and transport them to Earth. Termed the Lunar Sample Return Mission (LSRM), this ambitious project signals a significant leap for India's space exploration endeavours.
Nilesh Desai, Director of the Space Application Centre (SAC) at ISRO, shared insights into the mission, stating, "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," as reported by the Indian Express.
The LSRM comprises four key modules: the Transfer module, Lander module, Ascender module, and Re-entry module. Notably, this mission will depart from ISRO's conventional approach, utilising two separate launch vehicles to execute the complex operation.
The mission's design involves a robotic arm mechanism for sample collection at the Shiv Shakti point on the lunar surface. Subsequently, the samples will be loaded onto the Ascender module. After liftoff from the lunar surface, the Ascender module will dock onto the Transfer module, where another robotic arm will shift the samples to the Re-entry module. Ultimately, both the transfer and re-entry modules are anticipated to return and land on Earth.
Key Highlights of ISRO's LSR Mission:
1. The mission, scheduled for a 2028 launch, aims to collect soil/rock samples from the Shiv Shakti point on the lunar surface.
2. Departing from convention, ISRO will employ two launch vehicles—GSLV Mark-II for the Transfer and Re-entry modules, and GSLV Mark-III for the Ascender and Lander modules.
3. The project, like the successful Chandrayaan 3 in August, is designed for one lunar day (equivalent to 14 days on Earth), focusing on studying the Moon's surface, soil, and samples.
4. ISRO's LSRM draws parallels with NASA's recent collection of samples from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, accomplished by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft after a seven-year journey.