Chandrayaan-2 mission is an extremely complex mission that is a major technological leap in comparison to earlier operations of ISRO. It consisted of an Orbiter, Lander, and Rover to discover the previously unexplored South Pole of the Moon. Its mission is to increase lunar scientific understanding through the thorough study of topography, seismography mineral distribution, and identification as well as the chemical composition of the lunar surface. the thermo-physical properties of topsoil as well as the composition of the lunar atmosphere which will lead to a better understanding of the origins and development of the Moon.
Following Chandrayaan-2’s injection Chandrayaan-2 the spacecraft, a series of actions were performed to increase its orbit. Finally, on August 14, 2019, in the wake of the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) maneuver, the spacecraft broke away from the orbit of Earth and took a path that led it to the area of the Moon. On August 20, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit. While in a 10 km lunar orbit on September 02, 2019, Vikram Lander was separated from the Orbiter to prepare for landing. Two de-orbit maneuvers were executed on Vikram Lander to alter its orbit and begin circling the moon within the 100 km 35km orbit. Vikram Lander’s descent was exactly according to plan and the normal performance was observed until the altitude of 2.1 km. In the end, communication from the lander to the ground stations was cut off.
The Orbiter set to its planned position around the Moon will enhance our knowledge about the moon’s development and will map the water and minerals that reside in Polar regions, by using eight advanced instruments for science. Its Orbiter camera has the most high-resolution camera (0.3 millimeters) on the lunar missions so far and will deliver high-resolution images that will prove beneficial to the entire scientific community. The precise launch and management of the mission have allowed for a prolonged time span of more than seven years rather than the scheduled one year.
Why did we go to the Moon?
The Moon is the closest body in the universe at where space exploration can be explored and recorded. It’s also a good testbed to show the technologies needed for deep space missions. Chandrayaan-2 is designed to improve our knowledge of the Moon as well as to encourage the advancement of technology, foster international alliances, and motivate a new generation of scientists and explorers.
What are the objectives of science that are the focus of Chandrayaan 2? What was the reason why the Lunar South Pole was targeted for exploration?
Moon is the most direct connection to Earth’s past. It provides a pristine history of the Solar system’s surroundings. Although there are some established models, additional explanations were required to comprehend the origins and evolution of the Moon. The extensive mapping of lunar surfaces to investigate variations in the lunar surface was vital to understand the origins and the evolution of the Moon. Evidence of water molecules, discovered by Chandrayaan-1 requires further research regarding the size of the distribution of water molecules across the lunar surface, below the surface, and within the lunar exosphere which is tenuous to understand the origins of water on the Moon.
The Lunar South Pole is fascinating because the lunar surface that is in shadow is greater than the North Pole. There is a chance that water is present in shadowed areas permanently surrounding the. Furthermore, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps. They have fossil evidence of the beginning of the Solar System.
Experiments in science
Chandrayaan-2 is equipped with several science payloads that will expand lunar science knowledge by a thorough investigation of topography, seismography mineral distribution and identification and composition of the surface, physical and thermo-chemical characteristics of topsoil as well as the composition of the lunar atmosphere which will lead to a fresh understanding of the origins and development of the Moon.
Its Orbiter payloads will be able to conduct remote-sensing experiments from 100 km in orbit, and Lander and Rover payloads Lander as well as the Rover payloads will make in-situ measurements close to the landing area.
To better understand the Lunar composition The goal is to determine the elements and then map their distribution over the lunar surface, both on a global and in-situ scale. Furthermore, a detailed 3D map of the lunar regolith will be carried out. The near-surface plasma environment as well as the electron density within the Lunar Ionosphere will be investigated. The thermophysical properties on the lunar surface as well as seismic activity will be studied. The distribution of water molecules will be investigated with infrared spectroscopy synthetic aperture radiometry and polarimetry and mass spectroscopy methods.
Payloads that are important to pay
- Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer
- Composition of the elements of the Moon
- Imaging IR Spectrometer
- Mineralogy mapping and confirmation of water-ice
- Synthetic Aperture Radar L & S Band
- Polar-region mapping and confirmation of sub-surface water-ice
- Orbiter High-Resolution Camera
- Topography mapping with high-resolution
- Chandra’s Surface Thermo-physical Experiment
- Temperature gradient and thermal conductivity
- Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope
- In-situ analysis of elemental analysis and abundance around the landing site