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Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1 developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) .

For the first time in the history of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), two women will head the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

  • Ritu Kridhal and M Vanitha are leading as project and mission directors respectively for Chandrayaan-2 mission.

WHY ARE WE GOING TO MOON

OBJECTIVES OF CHANDRAYAAN-2 :

  1. To demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface
  2. Quantify the water available on the moon’s surface.
  3. Map its topography, to explore chemicals and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and Helium.
  4. Study topmost part of the lunar atmosphere.

CHANDRAYAAN-2 COMPONENTS :

  1. Launcher – The GSLV Mk-III is India’s most powerful launcher to date and has been completely designed and fabricated from within the country.
  2. Orbiter – The Orbiter will observe the lunar surface and relay communication between Earth and Chandrayaan 2’s Lander — Vikram.
  3. Lander – The lander called ‘Vikram’ is designed to execute India’s first soft landing on the lunar surface. ‘Vikram’ is named after the space luminary, Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, who spearheaded India’s nascent space programme.
  4. Rover – The rover is a 6-wheeled, AI-powered vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit. The Rover can travel up to 500 meters (half a kilometre) from the landing spot on the moon.

Why to explore the Lunar South Pole

 Evidence of water molecules — discovered by Chandrayaan 1 — and the extent of its distribution on the lunar surface and sub-surface also require further studies.

The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because a larger section of its surface stays in the shadow than the North Pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, the south polar region has craters that are cold traps, containing a fossilised record of the early Solar System.

Chandrayaan 2 will use the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover to attempt a soft landing in a high plain between two craters — Manzinus C and Simpelius N — at a latitude of about 70° south.

SIGNIFICANCE

  • 1st space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s south polar region
  • 1st Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology
  • 1st Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology
  • 4th country ever to soft land on the lunar surface
CHANDRAYYAN-2

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