Chandrayaan-2: The first spacecraft to land on the southern pole of the moon

Pragyan Rover The rover is a 6-wheeled, AI-powered vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit.

Pragyan Rover

After the success of Chandrayaan-1, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is moving towards creating history again through Chandrayaan-2.

Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 02:15 am on July 15, 2019.

The special thing of this mission is that this Chandrayaan will go to a place where no country has gone so far.

Chandrayaan will land on the southern pole of the moon.

No space agency has landed there due to the risks associated with this area.

Most of the missions have been in the equatorial region where the land is flat compared to South Polar.

At the same time, the South Pole is full of flames and bumpy ground and it is risky to land here.

First objective

The primary objective of the mission is to land safely on the lunar surface or say a soft landing and then operate a robot rover on the surface.

Its purpose will be to prepare a map of the lunar surface, find out the presence of minerals, scan the outer atmosphere of the moon and find out the presence of water in some form or the other.

In this way, India will become the fourth nation after the former Soviet Union, USA and China to land here and conduct various experiments in the moon’s orbit, surface and atmosphere.

The aim of this effort is to improve our understanding of the moon and to make discoveries that benefit humanity.

Mission needed

1st Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology
A space mission to conduct a soft landing

Chandrayaan-2 is being sent to pursue Chandrayaan-1’s discoveries. Following the evidence of Chandrayaan-1’s discovered water molecules,

further study of the extent of the distribution of water molecules on the lunar surface, below the surface and in the external atmosphere needs to be studied.

The spacecraft being sent on this mission has three parts – an orbiter, a lander (named Vikram, named after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India’s space program) and a six-wheeled robot rover (Pragyan).

All these are made by ISRO.

In this mission, the orbiter will revolve around the moon, Vikram Lander will make a safe and controlled landing near the south of the moon and experiment on the surface of the moon.

The lander will land on a flat on September 6 this year, between two volcanoes Manzinus C and Simpelius N, near the southern polar of the Moon.

The rover will examine and use the earth for 14 days (one lunar day) in this area. The mission of the orbiter will continue for a year.

India’s most powerful 640-ton rocket GSLV Mk-3 will be used for this mission. It will carry 3890 kg Chandrayaan-2.

The spacecraft will carry 13 Indian and one NASA scientific instrument. Three of these instruments will be in eight orbiters, three in lander and two in rover.

Apart from this, Chandrayaan-2 will leave the mark of Ashok Chakra and ISRO symbol on the moon.

According to the chairman of ISRO, on one leg of the rover is printed the symbol of Ashoka Chakra and on the other, the symbol of ISRO which will be printed on the moon during its walk.


Why landing on southern Dhuvar itself?

One may ask why Chandrayaan is being landed near the South Pole of the Moon even when there is a risk and why these poles have become important for missions going to the Moon.

Actually, the southern pole of the Moon is an area that has not been investigated yet.

There is a possibility of getting something new here. Most of this area remains in the shade and due to the absence of sun rays, it is very cold here.

Scientists estimate that there may be a possibility of water and minerals in these areas which are always under shade.

This has also been confirmed in some recent orbit missions.

The presence of water can be beneficial for the presence of humans in the future on the southern axis of the moon.

The surface investigation here can also help in understanding the formation of the planet more deeply. Also, the potential of its use as a resource for future missions can be known.

Why so much focus on the moon?

Stephen Hawking once said, “I think the human species will have no future without going into space.”

Of all the cosmic bodies, the Moon is the closest to us. The techniques required for more deep space missions can be tested here more easily.

Due to some such advantages, the moon has been renewed focus.

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