India’s ambitious moon-mission, Chandrayaan-2, has taken off successfully a short while ago from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andra Pradesh. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), tweeted to inform the successful launch which was scheduled to take place at 2:43 PM. The mission which is the brainchild of ISRO was initially planned to take off on July 15, 2019, , but postponed due to a technical snag that was discovered before the final countdown took place.
According to scientists at the ISRO, Chandrayaan 2, will reach the orbit attempt to explore the south polar region of the Moon. It will also explore an area hitherto that remains unexplored to date.
The Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan 2 is made of three-component spacecraft that weigh 3,850 kg. It includes an orbiter, the lander, and the rover. It will take approximately 48 days to accomplish the tour and is expected to land on the moon on September 6, 2019. The mission, according to ISRO, is the first of its kind since its inception on August 15, 1969. Experts across the world have termed the mission as complex, and prestigious for India which will become the fourth soft-land country on the lunar surface after Russia, the United States, and China.
Chandrayaan 2 comes just a few days after the historic 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is another feather in the cap of ISRO which sent Chandrayaan-1 in 2008, the Mars orbiter in 2014 (making Indian the fourth country in the world and the first Asian country to reach Mars). The next in the pipeline is Gaganyaan that happens to be India’s first manned mission to be launched in 2022.
Why Chandrayaan 2 mission? : The launch of Chandrayaan 2 will help India to find a place in the world astronomy. It will enable India to understand the natural satellite better and will open doors for researchers.
Some interesting moments:
Preparing the moon mission, Chandrayaan 2 was a challenge for ISRO scientists as they needed lunar soil-like substance to experiment with the rover. The surface of the moon is covered with craters, rocks that create obstacles at every step. Tests were essential but bringing lunar-soil like material from the U.S. was an expensive alternative.
Some Geologists informed ISRO that there were “anorthosite” rocks that would be similar to features of moon soil or regolith near Salem in Tamil Nadu. The ISRO finalized to take the “anorthosite” rocks from Sithampoondi and Kunnamalai villages in Tamil Nadu for moon soil. The rocks were crushed to the required size and moved to Bengaluru where its Lunar Terrain Test Facility was located and the testbed created.
Chandrayaan 2’s detailed journey
The GSLV MkIII will inject Chandrayan 2 into 170 x 40400 km Earth orbit 16 minutes after the lift-off Chandrayaan 2 will be in Earth-bound phase for the next 17-days before its orbit finally raised to over 1.05 lakh km
In the next two days, the Chandrayaan 2 will move into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory taking it to the proximity of Moon.
In another two days, the Chandrayaan 2 will complete 100 X 100 km circular orbit and, gradually the lander will drift apart.