Chandrayaan-2 - India's Second Journey To Moon

Aarohi Nayyar
Jul 21, 2019   •  36 views

The Moon has always fascinated humans for millennia. From poets to astrologers, all have taken a keen interest in it. There was a time when Moon was used by Indian poets and in Bollywood only to describe the beauty of Hero’s beloved and now is the time when Indian astrologers take acute interest to gather all the information about Moon from its origin to whether a life is possible on Moon or not. In the quest of all necessary information about Moon, Indian Space Research Organization will be launching its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 on 2nd July 2019. The mission is a succession of ISRO’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 which was launched on 22nd October 2008.Chandrayaan-1 was designed to stay on Moon’s orbit for approximately 2 years but due to some technical issues it got destroyed in just 10 months but in such a short time too it gave India a present by making it to be the world’s first country to find water molecules on Moon’s surface. This was a great discovery by India and now it is launching its second lunar mission after almost 11 years. Humans have always been eager and finicky to know more and more about Moon i.e. its origin which obviously makes this mission special but what makes this mission more interesting is that Chandrayaan-2 will be the first ever lunar mission to go on the south polar region of moon. All the lunar missions till now have been done in the northpole or equator but not beyond that. India will be the 1st country to reach the south polar region of Moon where temperature extends to -200 degree Celsius.

Here a question arises what is the need to go to south polar region? What will be so unique about it?

So Firstly Moon’s south polar region has been alien to humans till now. After Chandrayaan-1, scientists are expecting that there is a huge possibility of presence of water in that region and also it contain craters that are cold trays and may contain a fossil record of the early solar system. If we find the traces of water on Moon then it will be a great achievement to celebrate not only because a developing nation has done it independently but also because it may help India with its water scarcity issues.

Now let us discuss about Chandrayaan-2 in detail :-

The mission is palnned to be launched to Moon by a Geasynchrous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLVMK III). It includes 3 parts namely :- Orbiter, lander and a rover.

Orbiter :-

At the time of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be capable of communicating with Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu as well as the Vikram Lander. The mission life of the Orbiter is one year and it will be placed in a 100X100 km lunar polar orbit. The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will circle the moon and provide information about its surface for a duration of 1 year.

Lander (Vikram) :-

The Lander of Chandrayaan 2 is named Vikram after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme. It is designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days. Vikram has the capability to communicate with IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore, as well as with the Orbiter and Rover. The Lander is designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface. The lander-Vikram will finally land near South Pole of the moon on 7th Sep 2019.

Rover ( Pragyaan):-

The Rover is is a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan. This robotic like vehicle t can travel up to 500 m and leverages solar energy for its functioning. It can only communicate with the Lander.

Rover will be responsible for analyzing the Moon’s south polar region. For navigating on the surface it has a stereoscopic camera based which will provide 3D vision of terrain. Also it has monochromatic NAVCAMS which will not only help in taking 3D view but will also help in path planning by generating a digital evolution model of terrain.

Rover will send all the pictures and other information to Lander which will send it to the Orbiter. Since orbiter is a satellite it will transfer all the collected information to ISRO center. It is estimated that this process will take around 15 minutes which means all the information collected by Rover will reach ISRO center in approximately 15 minutes.

Initially Russian federal Space Agency and ISRO signed an agreement to work together on this mission where ISRO will have the prime responsibility for the Orbiter and ROSKOSMOS will be responsible for the Lander and Rover. This because India did not have enough advanced technology to make Lander and Rover due to which the mission was postponed to 2016 as ROSCOSMOS was unable to provide lander and rover on time. Later due to some major technical issue Russia cited its inability to provide Lander and Rover even by 2015. After that India decided to proceed with the mission independently.

ISRO developed Lander and Rover all by itself. Now this is where a thought strike in my mind that what if India had enough resources it would have accomplished this mission a long time back. What is the reason for a huge delay in this mission? Incapability of Indian Scientists? A big NO, the problem is enough financial support from the Government. ISRO has always made India proud through its outstanding missions. India is the world’s first ever country to have a successful MARS mission (Mangalyaan). Before India sent its unmanned satellite on Mars many developed nations like USA and Europe have already attempted 5 and 8 times respectively but badly failed where as India was successful in its very first attempt only.So there is no doubt that India do has the most capable and proficient scientists who have always apprized India.

In my opinion Government should focus more on ISRO budget. Government should try to increase the budget for ISRO so that it can undertake more Research and Development for many such important missions. More budget will lead to more detailed research in different fields by ISRO through which it can manufacture different kinds of parts like payloads etc. on its own. This will not only reduce ISRO’s dependency for its missions on other countries but will also reduce exports and encourage manufacturing and developing all the equipments, machines and technology in India itself thus promoting our PM’S most loved campaign Make In India. The main objective of the campaign is to encourage Indian companies and organizations to invent technology and then manufacture products on its own without being dependent on other countries. Since we do have brains in India we just need strong enough financial support so that ISRO will have enough funds to conduct and afford all its research comfortably thus making India prouder.