Chandrayaan 2 - India’s Historic Moon Landmark

full moon photography

Introduction

India has embarked on another journey of its second lunar exploration called Chandrayaan 2. It has been developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission was launched from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre on 22 July 2019 at 2.43 PM IST (09:13 UTC) to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III). The planned orbit has a perigee of 170 km and an apogee of 45475 km. It consists of a lunar orbiter, a lander, and a lunar rover named Pragyan, all developed in India. 


The main scientific objective is to map the location and abundance of lunar water. The lander and the rover will land on the near side of the Moon, in the south polar region at a latitude of about 70° south on 7 September 2019. The wheeled Pragyan rover will move on the lunar surface and will perform on-site chemical analysis for a period of 14 days (one lunar day). It can relay data to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander, which were launched together on the same rocket. The orbiter will perform its mission for one year in a circularized lunar polar orbit of 100 × 100 km.


The original and actual launch schedules

Launch of Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled for 15 July 2019 at 2:51 IST (14 July 2019 21:21 UTC) but was called off due to a technical snag noticed while filling the cryogenic engine of the rocket with helium about one hour before launch. The countdown was frozen at T minus 56 minutes, 24 seconds (56 minutes and 24 seconds to launch). It was launched on 22 July 2019 14:43 IST (09:13 UTC) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.


A successful landing would make India the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, after the space agencies of the USSR, the USA and China. If successful, Chandrayaan-2 will be the southernmost lunar landing, aiming to land at 67°S or 70°S latitude.


Objective 

The primary objectives of Chandrayaan-2 are to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxy land water ice. The orbiter will map the lunar surface and help to prepare 3D maps of it. The onboard radar will also map the surface while studying the water ice in the south polar region and thickness of the lunar regolith on the surface.


Design

The mission was launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) with an approximate lift-off mass of 3,850 kg (8,490 lb) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island. As of June 2019, the mission has an allocated cost of ₹978 crore(approximately US$141 million) which includes ₹603 crore for space segment and ₹375 crore as launch costs on GSLV Mk III.Chandrayaan-2 stack was initially put in an Earth parking orbit of 170 km perigee and 40,400 km apogee by the launch vehicle. It is currently performing orbit-raising operations followed by trans-lunar injection using its own power.

What makes Chandrayaan 2 so special?
Chandrayaan-2 is an Indian lunar mission that will boldly go where no country has ever gone before the Moon's south polar region. Through this effort, the aim is to improve our understanding of the Moon - discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole.

These insights and experiences aimed at a paradigm shift in how lunar expeditions are approached for years to come propelling further voyages into the farthest frontiers.

Apart from these things, Chandrayaan-2 is -

  • A first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's South Polar Region
  • First Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology
  • First Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology

Moreover, India will become the fourth country in the world to soft-land on the lunar surface, a feat previously accomplished by only three other countries - the US, Russia, and China

Interesting Facts About Chandrayaan 2 

1. Chandrayaan-2 consists of three components: the Orbiter, the Lander (Vikram) and the Rover (Pragyaan). The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is named Vikram after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme.


2. Chandrayaan 2's algorithm is wholly developed by India's scientific community.


3. Apart from studying the Moon's surface, Chandrayaan-2 will also examine the satellite's outer atmosphere.


4. Chandrayaan-2 will study water molecule distribution using infrared spectroscopy, synthetic aperture radiometry & polarimetry as well as mass spectroscopy techniques.


5. Chandrayaan 2's Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) will observe the X-rays emitted by the Sun and its corona, measure the intensity of solar radiation in these rays, and support CLASS.


6. Solar energy will be used by both the lander and the rover to generate electricity.


7. ISRO chief K. Sivan said that the most terrifying part of the mission is 15 minutes after the lander separates from the orbiter.


8. The lander and rover will be conducting their experiments in over a period of 15 days.


Recent update and schedule ahead

  • 3:27 pm, Aug 2: Chandrayaan 2’s 4th orbit raising activity was done successfully this Friday, raising its orbit to 277*89,472 km by firing the onboard motors for 646 seconds.
  • 2:30-3:30 pm, Aug 6: Fifth Orbit Raising Manoeuvre
  • Aug 14: Trans-Lunar Insertion of Chandrayaan 2, which will send it to the moon
  • Aug 20: Chandrayaan 2’s scheduled reach date on the moon
  • Sep 7: Vikram, the lander will land on the moon


Conclusion


India has stepped up its game and is on par with the other developed countries and has made a name for itself and have created advanced opportunities for the budding scientists in our country and all over the world. If this project becomes successful and achieves the desired objectives, then it will be a very proud moment for the whole nation and India will have proved itself on the world stage. 

- Deekshitha Jain


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Chandrayaan 2 - India’s Historic Moon Landmark Chandrayaan 2 - India’s Historic Moon Landmark Reviewed by EMN on August 04, 2019 Rating: 5

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