Chandrayaan-II is ISRO’s attempt at making history. An attempt to land on, and explore, a side of the moon that is still unexplored after 50 years of the historic launch of Apollo 11.
Chandrayaan II is all set to launch at 02:51 HRs on 15 July. The mission has the entire planet’s space agencies excited about what’s to come. Why so?
ISRO is going to launch and explore the lunar south pole region. The region has not yet been explored. But it is touted to have rare minerals and might even have abundant water.
The anatomy of Chandrayaan II
This is not the only reason to be excited though. The onboard modules include an orbiter, lander and rover. The orbiter is going to be used for relaying information collected by the Pragyan rover after it lands. The Vikram landing module will carry the rover to the landing site.
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MKIII) is ready for its 384,400 kilometres trip to land on the moon. GSLV MKIII payload also includes a passive NASA experiment.
What’s the mission?
This cost-effective mission will explore for new data. This data, for all we know, could be a huge step forward for mankind. Extracted data will include the typography of the lunar surface, composition of the surface soil among various other things.
Post landing, the 27 kg rover will last for about 1 lunar day or 14 Earth days. The orbiter will continue to operate for a year after launch. The Pragyan rover is expected to touch lunar soil on 7 September.
Chandrayaan II will put India at the forefront of space exploration.
The orbiter is going to stay in a 100x100km orbit for about a year. It is going to collect information about the lunar surface and atmosphere which will help in planning future missions.
Why the world is watching?
The 3.8-ton Chandrayaan II is leveraging a decade’s worth of research and development. The task which ISRO is undertaking holds the potential to unlock new information about our solar system. More specifically, of our planet, Earth.
Other government space agencies like NASA, RFSA, ESA have got eyes set on the moon mission. Chandrayaan II will land and explore the dark side of the moon.
It could answer questions; where did life originate?; Could we set up a base on the lunar surface?; Has the moon ever experiences water formation?
The Significance of the mission
These questions are important because science is the only method through which we can better understand our universe. The solar system being only a tiny fragment of our galaxy, we are nowhere near the answers yet.
Chandrayaan II mission now holds the key to putting India at a level playing field against other space organisations.
Fun Fact: Chandrayaan II is cheaper than many counterpart launch missions is the cherry on top of all the good it is going to do for the world.
By: Chitresh Sehgal, Senior Editor, Dkoding Media