Vikram Lander Current Affairs - 2019

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ISRO launched programmes to commemorate birth centenary of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a year-long programmes and functions from 12 August 2019 to commemorate birth centenary of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, founder and eminent space scientist of ISRO. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is also known as father of Indian Space Program. Starting from 12 August the centenary celebration programmes were organized across 100 selected cities all over India and the yearlong centenary celebration will conclude at Thiruvananthapuram on August 12, 2020.

Key Highlights

As Ahmedabad city is birth place of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, inaugural function was organized at Gujarat University convention Hall in Ahmedabad which was attended by a host of dignitaries from Indian Space Research Organization- Department of Space (DOS) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Commemorative coins were unveiled during inaugural ceremony.

Unique “Space on Wheels” exhibition inside bus was also held at Gujarat University Convention & Exhibition Center, in Ahmedabad.

ISRO also unveiled a Coffee Table book and a photo album of on life and work of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

About Dr. Vikram Sarabhai:

He was born in Ahmedabad in 1919 and earned his doctorate at Cambridge.

He founded Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in 1947.

He is known as father of India’s space program.

After launch of Russia’s Sputnik, he managed to convince Indian government on need for India, a developing country, to have its own space program.

In 1962, he established Indian National Committee for Space Research, which was later renamed as Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

He helped set up Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, with its maiden flight in 1963.

He had worked on Aryabhata, India’s first satellite, but he never lived to see its launch in 1975, which happened 4 years after his death.

Awards and Honours:

He received Padma Bhushan (1966) and was conferred Padma Vibhushan (1972) posthumously.

In 1973, a crater on moon was named after him.

Lander of Chandrayaan-2, India’s 2nd mission to moon, is named ‘Vikram’ to honour late Dr Vikram Sarabhai. This is naming of lander is part of the centenary celebrations of Vikram Sarabhai.

ISRO to launch lunar mission ‘Chandrayaan-2’ in July 2019

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to be launched between July 9 and 16 2019. The Chandrayaan-2’s lander will touch down near Moon’s south pole on 6th September 2019.

About Chandrayan-2

  • It is India’s second lunar mission. It would be launched using India’s most powerful rocket GSLV MK-III from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Mission Objective: Its payloads will collect scientific information on lunar (moon) topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
  • It has three modules (a detachable self-contained unit of a spacecraft) namely namely Orbiter, Lander named Vikram and Rover named Pragyan.
  • The Orbiter and Lander modules will be put together as an integrated module and accommodated inside GSLV MK-III a three stage launch vehicle equipped to lift heaviest satellites into orbit. The Rover is enclosed inside the Lander.
  • Once spacecraft is launched into earth bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module.
  • Then, the Vikram Lander would separate from the Orbiter and will make soft landing at a predetermined site close to lunar South Pole.
  • The wheeled Pragyan Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on lunar surface.
  • Instruments are mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments. The data collected by them would be relayed to earth.


  • Chandrayan-2 mission would land on southern pole of the moon, which is still unexplored by any of the countries. Therefore landing of spacecraft near lunar’s south pole would be historically significant as it would give ISRO opportunity to name that site on the moon.
  • All the three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan) are developed by India.
  • Unlike Chandrayan-1 (India’s first lunar mission) launched using PSLV rocket and which involved only orbiting the moon, Chandryaan 2 would attempt a soft landing close to lunar south pole.

Other Indian Crucial Space Mission

  • Chandrayaan-1: It was India’s first lunar probe mission launched by ISRO in October 2008 and operated until August 2009.
  • Mangalyaan: Also known as The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is a space probe orbiting Mars since September 24, 2014.
  • Chandrayaan-2: Is mission to land a rover on the moon, it was delayed by over a year.
  • Aditya-L1: Mission is to the study and observation of sun’s properties.
  • Gaganyaan: India’s manned space mission by 2022.