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NASA 'inspired' by Chandrayaan 2 as it plans to return to the Moon after 7 years

NASA 'inspired' by Chandrayaan 2 as it plans to return to the Moon after 7 years

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has ‘inspired’ them with Chandrayaan 2.
  • NASA also said that it looks forward to future missions with ISRO.
  • NASA’s laser reflector arrays were abroad Chandrayaan 2’s lander, Vikram.
  • NASA and ISRO are already collaborating to build the most expensive Earth imaging satellite till date — NISAR — pegged to cost $1.5 billion.

As the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) tries to figure out what went wrong with the moon landing, international support is pouring in from all corners of the world.

The US’ apex space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), tweeted that that ISRO has ‘inspired’ then with their journey.

NASA’s link to Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan 2, though primarily an Indian mission, was carrying NASA’s laser instruments. Its laser reflector arrays were aboard the lander.

NASA has been sending up laser reflector arrays with every mission that’s aiming to land on the Moon. One was also on the Israeli lander, Beresheet, that crashed into the lunar surface earlier this year.

The Moon is already home to five such lasers, according to Simone Dell’Angello, a physicist at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics National Laboratory. The aim of populating the Moon with these instruments is to get an accurate reading of the distance between the Earth and its natural satellite.

Retroreflectors are basically very high tech mirrors and their job is to reflect back any lasers signals that Earth sends its way.

The reflection from the instruments on the lander would help pinpoint its location. The location, in turn, can be used to calculate the precise distance between the Moon and the Earth.

NASA’s history with the Moon

Landing on the Moon isn’t easy and nobody knows that better than NASA. It took the US space agency 15 attempts before it finally nailed a hard landing on the Moon.

Even NASA’s Surveyor Program — a series of uncrewed soft landings on the Moon — had to face two failures.

NASA’s has plans of its own for 2024

The last time NASA sent humans to the Moon was in 1972 as a part of the Apollo 17 mission. Its last uncrewed mission was back in 2013 when it launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) to intentionally crash into the far side of the Moon.

Now, US President Donald Trump is looking to remake US glory by sending astronauts to the Moon again — the mission is called Artemis.

He’s even moved up the deadline from 2028 to 2024 — a move that might cost the US government $1.55 billion as well as reallocating $321 million from other NASA projects.

This is on top of NASA’s annual budget of $21.5 billion.

And, the spending doesn’t stop there.

ISRO and NASA are currently developing a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite — NISAR. The satellite is scheduled to take off in 2020, according to NASA.

NISAR is expected to be the most expensive Earth imaging till date with its cost pegged at $1.5 billion. It aims to study the effect of climate change on the environment and the resulting hazards.

See also:
Chandrayaan 2’s orbiter has seven and a half years to scan the surface of the Moon

Chandrayaan 2 loses contact with the lander in the final seconds of the descent to Moon's surface

Moon landing drama: Play by play of ISRO losing communication with Chandrayaan 2's lander


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