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World eyeing Chandrayaan-2 data as we’ll explore the unexplored: Isro chief - Times of India

23 August 2019

NEW DELHI: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has achieved a major milestone on Tuesday morning when it successfully placed

Chandrayaan-2

into Moon’s orbit and is now confident of landing the lunarcraft on lunar south pole at 1.55am on September 7.

Isro chairman K Sivan said, “We have reached the lunar orbit for the second time, first by

Chandrayaan-1

in 2008. Now, the entire world is eyeing Chandrayaan-2 mission as our spacecraft will land in a place on

Moon

where no other countries, not even China (it landed on Moon’s dark side), have landed. This is because the south pole is rich in water and minerals.”

Explaining the landing site, Sivan said, “On September 7, lander Vikram will land at a site which is 71 degrees south of Moon’s equator and 32.8 degrees east. It will be between two craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N. Our mission will give vital inputs about the south pole and help future moon programmes of India and other countries for setting up a human base in that region. In fact, Nasa has already announced its plan to set up a human habitat in the south pole and is awaiting Chandrayaan-2 inputs” to study the area.

The world is eyeing the south pole as the craters there have been untouched by sunlight for billions of years, offering an undisturbed record of the solar system’s origins. Its permanently shadowed craters are estimated to hold nearly 100 million tonnes of water and its regolith (the layer covering the bedrock) has traces of hydrogen, ammonia, methane,

sodium

, mercury and silver, making it an untapped source of essential resources. South pole’s elemental and positional advantages make it a suitable pit stop for future space exploration that is the reason why not only countries like the US, Russia and China but even private companies like Blue Origin and Space X are planning Moon hubs in that region.

The Isro chief told TOI, “Rover Pragyan will touch Moon’s surface four hours after Vikram lander lands at 1.55 am on September 7 as the rover will be moving at a speed of 1cm per second. Thereafter, the rover will take one and a half hours more to send images of Moon and lunar data back to Earth via the lander or orbiter as the rover doesn’t have autonomous system. Those images will later be calibrated and put in public domain. Nasa too can use that data.”

The 13 desi payloads on board the orbiter, lander and rover will do a detailed study of topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics of top soil and composition of the tenuous lunar atmosphere for a new understanding of the origin and evolution of Moon.




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