BENGALURU: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which is looking to launch Chandrayaan-3 next year, will be creating artificial Moon craters in Ullarthi Kavalu, Challakere, some 215km from Bengaluru, later this year.
“We’ve already called for tenders and the process of identifying a firm for the civil works will be complete by the month-end or early September.
The craters will be created on our Challakere campus,” said a source, adding that it would cost at least Rs 24.2 lakh.
The craters, another source said, would have a diameter of 10 metres and 3-metre depth. They are meant to simulate the lunar surface on which the Chandrayaan-3 lander would land.
“The lander’s sensors will undergo a crucial test — Lander Sensor Performance Test (LSPT) — which will involve us flying the sensors on an aircraft over the artificial lunar site and see how efficient they are in guiding the lander,” a scientist said.
Just like Chandrayaan-2, India’s next lunar mission will also be highly autonomous (pre-programmed), using multiple sensors, including those designed to help the lander assess its height from the landing spot, decide velocity and keep the craft away from boulders and uneven surface.