Chandrayaan 2, the new chapter in moon exploration

Chandrayaan 2 is on a mission unlike any before. Leveraging nearly a decade of scientific research and engineering development, India’s second lunar expedition will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon — its South Polar region. This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface. While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan 1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition.

India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 successfully launched Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft at 2:43 p.m. IST on July 22,2019 into its planned orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.7 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 45,475 km. The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. After the injection of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, A series of maneuvers were carried out to raise its orbit and put Chandrayaan-2 on Lunar Transfer Trajectory. On entering Moon’s sphere of influence, on-board thrusters slowed down the spacecraft for Lunar Capture. The Orbit of Chandrayaan-2 around the moon will be circularized to 100×100 km orbit through a series of orbital maneuvers.

Even though the lander didn’t succeed in performing as desired but that was just the last 5% of the mission. The orbiter is equipped hi-tech cameras and sensors which would be very useful in conducting the exploration of the moon.

India’s ISRO put the orbiter in the polar orbit so that more detailed study of the poles can be done which would help us to ascertain facts about moon’s origin and the current geological activities which might be happening on the moon. Orbiter would keep function for next 7 years, which is sufficient time to conduct all sorts of scientific experiments about the moon.

Author: Chandra Kant

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