10 Years Later, India's Second Moon Mission 'Chandrayaan-2' Is Cheaper Than Film Interstellar

| February 20 , 2018 , 12:14 IST

India's space missions are famous worldwide for their success as well as their cost-effectiveness, with missions to the moon costing less than even some hit Hollywood movies.  

While the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Mars mission launched in 2013 was cheaper than Hollywood space movie 'Gravity' made in the same year, India's second mission to the moon Chandrayaan -2 is cheaper than Hollywood hit film 'Interstellar'. The Chandrayaan-2 mission is worth Rs 800 crore, in comparison to Interstellar that cost Rs 1,062 crore.

ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan, in an interview with Times of India, revealed how the space programmes were possible at such low expenses.

Image result for ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan

"Simplifying the system, miniaturising the complex big system, strict quality control and maximising output from a product make our space missions frugal and cost-effective. We keep strict vigil on each and every stage of development of a spacecraft or a rocket and, therefore, we are able to avoid wastage of products, which helps us minimise the mission cost," Dr Sivan said.

The launch date of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which involves a soft landing on moon surface and a rover walk, is expected to be April but is yet to be finalised as various factors such as the moon's relative position with respect to the Earth would decide the final date.

"We are trying for a dawn-to-dusk landing and rover walk on the lunar's mission for maximum utilisation of the scientific mission. If we are not able to land in April due to various factors, then the mission will be launched in November. If we launch between April and November we won't get the perfect dawn-to-dusk landing and experiment time due to moon eclipses, therefore, we will avoid the launch in between. The perfect timing for the launch comes only once in a month," said Dr Sivan to TOI.

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Generally, NASA's Apollo missions and Russia's Luna missions to the moon have landed on its equatorial regions, but ISRO is planning to land their rover near the south pole of the moon.

"We have chosen the landing site near the south pole as it has big rocks that are billions of years old. Analysing these rocks and the surface will help us explore the moon better and enrich our understanding of the universe," Dr Sivan said.

Simulation tests of various Chandrayaan-2 components have been conducted at ISRO centres in Bengaluru, Mahendragiri and Chitradurga, Karnataka. ISRO has also created artificial 'lunar craters' as part of 'hazard avoidance and landing' tests.