Creativity in Science : Here's all you need to know about what makdes Chandrayaan 2 by ISRO special

The day when Lander- Vikram lands on the surface of Moon is right about the corner. The mysteries that Chandrayaan-2 mission unveils will pave the path for future space explorations.

chandrayaan-2
source: indianexpress.com

Fuelled with the aspirations and dreams of billions of Indians, GSLV Mark – III lifted off on July 22, 2019 to discover the uncharted lunar south pole. This date marked the commencement of ISRO’s second lunar mission titled “Chandrayaan-2” which will expedite man’s search for water on the moon.

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The Orbitor, The Lander – Vikram, The Rover – Pragyan. (Source: isro.gov.in)

On September 7th, between 1 – 2 a.m. IST, the Orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to deploy Vikram, the Lander named after Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, onto the surface of the moon. And on the passenger seat of Vikram sits Pragyan, the rover, bestowed with the task of analysing various aspects of the moon.

Let’s take a look at the mission’s genius in detail:

  1. The Chandrayaan-2 mission is the palpable invention of ISRO’s genius and creative aptitude. With home-grown technology and engines, this mission cost astonishingly less than previous explorations by Russia, USA or China, which have been the only three countries to have accomplished a soft landing on the moon. The Apollo programme cost about 25 billion USD whereas the Chandrayaan-2 cost only 142 million USD.
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The blue highlighted areas represent the frozen water discovered by Chandrayaan 1 mission. (Source: kalingatv.com)
  1. From the previous discoveries of Chandrayaan-1 and other lunar missions conducted by NASA, Roscosmos and CNSA, studies have indicated that there might be water stored on the moon in the form of ice capsuled in the craters. Studies have also shown that the moon might have certain precious minerals like Magnesium, Calcium, Aluminium, Silicon, Titanium, Sodium and Iron. This mission will help uncover the presence of these minerals too.
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The entire list of payloads installed in Vikram and Pragyan
  1. Vikram and Pragyan are stocked with various interesting payloads. The rover is equipped with a seismograph that will be used to measure and monitor the “moonquakes”. Scientists have theorised this phenomenon to occur due to the contraction of moon’s core, as well as asteroids, hitting its surface. Pragyan will help in analysing these effects as well as in checking the frequency of their occurrence. Previous space crafts have studied these moonquakes before but never has a study been done on the South Pole which is an integral part of the moon. Scientists believe this will be the location for a future “Moon-Base station”.
5-magnetic-effects-on-moon-due-to-the-solar-wind
The image explains the magnetic effects on Moon due to the Solar Wind. (Source: science.nasa.gov)
  1. The Sun emits certain solar wind waves that are heavily charged with electrons. When these currents hit the moon’s surface, they create a number of intriguing phenomena. The Lander is equipped with a “Solar X-ray Monitor” which will help in analysing these phenomena. Being stagnant at one particular location, Vikram will analyse the difference in the electron density of that location as and when it is changed due to rotations in one lunar day, i.e. 14 earth days.
  1. The Lander also harbours an interesting equipment called Chandra’s Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (ChaSTE). What ChaSTE does is that it checks the temperature and thermal conductivity of moon’s soil. By doing so, ChaSTE can also analyse whether any water can be found beneath the surface of the moon.

With the expectations that the Chandrayaan-2 mission has taken off with, our aspirations to create an inter-planetary civilisation depend on the discoveries that India through Vikram and Pragyan makes. It is a proud moment for ISRO and our country which has taken up these responsibilities and the task to excavate such mysteries that can contribute immensely to the future space explorations and eventually enrich human life one earth.

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