The project is known as the Lunar Sample Return Mission (LSRM)
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning an ‘ambitious’ move that will see the national space agency attempt to collect soil or rock samples from the Moon, and bring these to Earth, in what will be its first such exercise.
The proposed mission is called the Lunar Sample Return Mission (LSRM), the Indian Express reported.
“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,” the English daily quoted Nilesh Desai, Director, Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, as saying.
(1) Under the project, which has an expected launch date in 2028, soil/rock samples will be collected from the Shiv Shakti point on the lunar surface.
(2) In a departure from the norm, two separate launch vehicles will be used to carry out the mission, said ISRO’s Desai. This, he explained, is because the exercise involves four modules: Transfer, Lander, Ascender, and Re-entry.
(3) The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-II will be used for the Transfer and Re-entry modules, while GSLV MK-III be used for the Ascender and Lander modules.
(4) The project, like August’s highly-successful Chandrayaan 3, is planned for one lunar day (14 days on Earth). Also, thus far, the agency’s three Chandrayaan missions have studied Moon’s surface, soil, and samples, at the site itself.
(5) The LSRM is on the same lines as NASA’s collection of the first-ever samples from Bennu, the near-Earth asteroid. The US space agency achieved this in September with its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which returned to the Earth’s atmosphere after completing a journey that spanned seven years.