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Unbelievable! India's lunar mission costs less than this Hollywood blockbuster!

Unbelievable! India's lunar mission costs less than this Hollywood blockbuster!”

It is also worth mentioning here that the country spent about Rs.470 crore in 2013 for a Mars mission which is still much cheaper than one other Hollywood space movie "Gravity" (budgeted at Rs.644 crore).

The cost of the entire mission is INR 800 crore - much cheaper than the cost of Hollywood's 2014 sci-fi blockbuster "Interstellar", that cost a whopping INR 1,062 crore ($165 million). He is quoted as saying,"Simplifying the system, miniaturizing the complex big system, strict quality control and maximizing output from a product make our space missions frugal and cost-effective".

During the Chandrayaan-1 lunar odyssey between October 2008 and August 2009, its payload Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) had mapped the topography of the moon, including the lunar south pole where ISRO plans to soft land the Chandrayaan-2. Unlike the Chandrayaan-1, where Moon Impact Probe (MIP) crash-landed on the surface of the Moon, the Chandrayaan-2 will soft-land its Lander with Rover on the lunar surface to conduct the next level of scientific studies. "In case we miss the April date, we will launch it in November", Sivan added.

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The launch window is from April to November wherein, ISRO will choose a favorable date preferably for a dawn-to-dusk landing. After its launch from Sriharikota, it will take one or two months time for the orbiter to reach moon's orbit, the ISRO chief said. On the contrary, ISRO is planning for a site near the South Pole due to prominence of large and old rocks that will describe how it came to be and what is it made up of. "Analysing these rocks and the surface will help us explore the moon better and enrich our understanding of the universe", Dr Sivan said.

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is a composite module consisting of Orbiter, Lander and Rover. It will remain active for 14 Earth days, which translates into one lunar day, and send back data and images to the Earth via the orbiter within 15 minutes.

What makes Chandrayaan-2 mission even more cost-effective is that it is completely indigenous now. ISRO has been taking strict measurements on limiting wastage and using resources to their full extent which has brought down the cost of such rather costly and valuable mission to the moon. The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover, which will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands. "It will do several experiments and on-site chemical analysis of the surface", Dr Sivan said. Presently, different stimulation tests are being done on various Chandrayaan-2 components at ISRO centres in Mahendragiri, Bengaluru and Chitradurga in Karnataka.

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