The country is waiting with bated breath for the historic Chandrayaan 2’s soft landing on the moon’s south polar region after midnight today. With this lunar mission, India is looking to become the first nation to reach closest to the Moon’s south pole.
Chandrayaan 2 started its journey on July 22nd, 2019 launching from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on board heavy-lift rocket GSLV Mark 3.
With just a few hours left for this historic moment to happen, here is a list of facts about Chandrayaan 2 that you need to know:
- Chandrayaan 2 is India’s lunar exploration mission that will land in that part of the moon where nobody has ever gone. It is a mission launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- Chandrayaan 2 aims to improve the understanding of the moon and make discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole. The Moon offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner solar system environment and Chandrayaan 2 aims to explore that dimension.
- The moon lander Vikram is scheduled to land on the surface of the moon somewhere between 1:30 am and 2:30 am on September 7th, 2019. The landing will be followed by the Rover – Pragyaan – which is housed inside the Vikram lander.
- The moon lander Vikram separated from its main orbit and performed two manoeuvres to lower its altitude for a perfect landing on the scheduled time.
- After landing, the rover Pragyan will roll out from the Vikram lander at around 5:30 am and 6:30 am on September 7th, 2019. Later, rover Pragyan and moon lander Vikram are expected to be active for a period of one lunar day (14 Earth days). While the orbiter is expected to remain active for a year.
- They will carry out research and will search for the presence of water. They will even map the surface of the moon and click high-resolution images of the moon’s south pole. The south pole remains shadowed untouched by the rays of sunlight, so there is a possibility of the presence of water there.
- Lander Vikram is headed towards the unexplored part of the moon – south pole. Most lunar landings have taken place in the northern part or in the equatorial region.
- India’s mission to the moon stands apart from the other missions taken by the United States of America, Russia and China because it is low in cost. Only Rs 1,000 crore was spent on the entire mission.
- Eleven days after Chandrayaan 2’s liftoff from the earth’s surface, ISRO released a series of images on August 4th, 2019 taken by the LI4 camera aboard the lander showing the American continent and the Pacific ocean.
- Shillong Chamber Choir’s Vande Mataram will be played for seven minutes before the satellite landing of Chandrayaan-2.
- A total of 60 students from all parts of the country will witness the landing of Chandrayaan 2 at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru on September 7th, 2019. Students from Northeast will also be there to witness this historic moment.
- Two students each from Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, one each from Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura have got the opportunity to see the satellite’s landing along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The students were selected through the Chandrayaan 2 quiz competition on space technology.
- Prime Minister Modi has urged people to share photos of special moments of Chandrayaan 2 descending on to the Lunar South Pole.
- Two scientists from Assam, namely Dr Jitendra Nath Goswami and Dipak Kumar Das has played pivotal roles in the successful launch of Chandrayaan 2. Dr Goswami was the principal scientist of the mission and he is also the chairman of the advisory board for the mission. While Das is the director of Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO.
After this successful lunar mission, India is now preparing to send a human into orbit by 2022 through Gaganyaan.