HYDERABAD: Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are set to conduct a breathtaking stunt at Mahendragiri hills in Tamil Nadu. A bungee jump is being planned for Chandrayaan-2 craft as part of soft landing tests using a 100-metre tall crane (as tall as a 10-storeyed building) specially built for the purpose.
Chandrayaan-2 is India’s most ambitious project as yet consisting of an orbiter, lander and a small rover. If it succeeds, it will be India’s first soft-landing on the Moon, and only the second such landing since the end of the Apollo and Luna missions.
For this, scientists have to ensure that the spacecraft lands smoothly without crashing on the Moon’s surface. The Mahendragiri test at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), scheduled in another two weeks, will determine it, said S Somanath, director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).
He said the craft, weighing about half-a-tonne, will be lowered from 100 metres and ignited in a lower gravity condition like that of the Moon. It has to make both vertical and horizontal maneuvering to find a suitable place to land.