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    What Team Indus's moon mission would look like?

    Team Indus a for-profit organization was India’s only team to apply for the Google Lunar X Prize1 and has successfully made it among the top 5 teams still in the race to land a rover on the moon, travel 500 meters and beam back HD videos and images from the lunar surface. It has secured a dedicated launch contract with ISRO(Indian Space Research Organization) on its PSLV-XL variant from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India2, to launch it’s HHK-1 lunar lander. The HHK-1 will house the two rovers : ECA (India) and Hakuto(Japan). The launch mass of the spacecraft will be 600kgs.

    The entire mission is supposed to last 24 earth days (we need to start mentioning as soon humans will be on mars) - 10-15 days in orbit and traversing 384,400 kms between earth and moon, 5-14 days on the surface of the moon.

    PSLV-XL will release the spacecraft (HHK-1) at an altitude of 120 kms. Once released it would orbit the earth twice, the initial orbit of the spacecraft would be an highly elliptical geocentric orbit (880km X 70,000km) with apogee near the radius of Moon’s orbit. A systems check will be followed by a propulsive burn to raise the orbit to (880km X 80,000km).

    Once the spacecraft completes its two orbit around earth, the next maneuver would be Trans-lunar injection(TLI). The TLI burn is timed and sized precisely to target moon as it revolves around the moon, such that the spacecraft is at its apogee as Moon approaches. After TLI burn the spacecraft is on its course to the moon. It would be traveling at maximum speed of 10.5 km/s. It will target perilune altitude of 100km at insertion into lunar orbit. As the spacecraft reaches with 100kms of the Moon, it would do a Lunar Capture burn, to reduce the speed of the spacecraft, changing it drastically form approximately 10.5 km/s to 800m/s. This particular burn will consume majority of the fuel onboard the spacecraft and puts it into an eliptical selenocentric orbit S1 (100km X 7500km).

    The first spacecraft to successfully perform TLI burn was Soviet Union’s Luna 1 on January 2, 1959.

    This will be followed by a parking orbit insertion maneuver, to lower the apolune and inserts the spacecraft into S2(100km X 4100km). In this orbit the thruster configuration for descent will be tested. Next follows is a circularization burn which inserts aircraft into S3 circular orbit (100km X 100km), further a lunar descent orbit burn would reduce the orbit to S4(12.6km X 100km) befor the final descent. Next would be the most crucial stage of the mission the lunar descent. A sensor check will be conducted during first pass in S4 and descent will be initiated in the next pass. After this, the spacecraft will function autonomously until the final touchdown. There will be no telecommands sent to the spacecraft while it will continue to broadcast telemetry data back to earth.

    1. Reference, wikipedia

    2. Reference, wikipedi

    Megnonian Space Agency

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