The countdown has begun. In less than 24 hours, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch India’s ambitious Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. To be precise, July 15 (Monday) 2.51 am.
According to ISRO, everything has been checked and is going according to plan.
The aim of the mission is to land a robotic rover on the moon near the lunar South Pole. The mission will carry out various experiments to understand the extent and significance of the presence of water on Moon as confirmed by the Chandrayaan-1 mission earlier.
#First For World
This is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s South Pole region, which has a lunar surface area much larger than that of the North Pole and remains in shadow. According to ISRO, “The moon is the closest cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented. But its south polar region has never been explored by any country before.”
#First For India
This is the first time that India is trying to land a robotic rover on Moon. If the mission is successful, India would become the fourth country in the world to make a soft landing on Moon and put a rover on it.
ISRO is using India’s strongest launcher GSLV MKIII for the Chandrayaan-2 mission. India’s Chandrayaan-2 is unique in its own way. There’s a lander, one rover and an orbiter in it.
After launch, Chandrayaan-2 will be projected in an oval orbit, leaving the rocket over and over again for the next 17 days and increasing the scope of its orbit. After increasing the radius, the space mission will move towards the Moon. From there, Chandrayaan-2 will take five days to reach the Moon’s radius. The distance between the Moon and the Earth is 3.84 lakh km.
After reaching the Moon’s radius, Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter will start rotating around it. It will be 100 km away from the Moon’s surface. The lander rover would be then made a soft landing on the Moon’s surface.
It is being assumed that the lander rover will make its landing on the Moon’s surface on September 6. The rover, named Pragyaan, would then come out of the lander, named Vikram.
After making a soft landing, Pragyaan rover can stroll around for one Moon day, which is equal to 14 days on Earth. It will carry out various experiments to understand the extent and significance of the presence of water on Moon.
The success of Chandrayaan-2 may prove an important step in giant leap towards space exploration by India.
The ready access to water at the poles has both scientific and utilitarian interest, says ISRO. A sample of primordial water would be key to understanding the origin of water on the Moon and possibly the earth as well. It may unravel the mystery of water in the solar system.
ISRO hopes that the Moon could form the base for fuel and oxygen and other critical raw materials. And, if our nearest solar neighbour can be considered a pit-stop for resources including water, space transportation could be more affordable.
Finding a home way from the earth may not be that far in future!