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Towards Bolder and Bigger Lunar Excavations: A journey from Chandrayaan 1 to Chandrayaan 2

India is at the threshold of becoming the next power center and a nation to be admired for its political, financial, military, intellectual, and today, even the astronomical and geospatial capabilities. The successful launch and the successful positioning of Chandrayaan 2 in the moon’s orbit have garnered appreciation from across the globe. Today, India is certainly a nation that has been looked upon by the major superpowers of the world for our current and future endeavors. Let’s track this journey of space to success!

India has always been interested in expanding its capabilities in every sphere not with an objective to become a superpower or to change the power equations in world politics but for the betterment of mankind. India’s research in the nuclear sphere that initiated in the late 1960’s had the motive to explore the cost-effective and abundant sources of energy for the people of India. The on-going lunar projects have been drafted on similar lines, to analyze the moon’s topology, its atmosphere, mineralogy, presence of elements, in order to make these findings beneficial for the people living on the earth. Chandrayaan 1 which was launched in 2008 was a big achievement for the scientists of India and it paved the way ahead for more such missions. The chandrayaan 2 is expected to bring more refined information on the findings of Chandrayaan 1. The major highlight of Chandrayaan 2 is that the project has been entirely developed in India by Indian scientists, which marks our technical and astronomical expertise.

Chandrayaan 1 - The Foundation Stone of India’s Lunar Missions

Chandrayaan 1 is the foundation stone of a legacy that we witness today in the form of Chandrayaan 2. Chandrayaan 1 took off with PSLV-C11 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on 22 October 2008. The project was launched with the sole motive to explore the surface of the moon and gather as much information as possible. The mission lasted for 312 days, it was a great success and laid the road for future excavations and missions in a territory that’s unexplored and infinite.

Findings of Chandrayaan 1 at a glance:

Discovered water molecules and hydroxyl.

Presence of minerals like Iron was confirmed by Moon Mineralogy mapper.

Presence of ice was also hinted by the Chandrayaan 1 in the shadowed regions on the surface of the Moon.

Detected tectonic activity on the moon’s surface.

Terrain Mapping

Chandrayaan 2 - The Leap of Faith, Hard Work and Technological Advancement

India on July 22, 2019, launched Chandrayaan 2 with an objective to explore the south pole of the moon where no other nation has ever reached. The Chandrayaan 2 lifted off with GSLV III rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Center located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Chandrayaan 2 is expected to bring more detailed information on the findings shared by Chandrayaan 1 and new information on diverse aspects. The project involves a team of a lander, a rover, and an orbiter. This team of the terrific trio will complete their specific tasks and will send the latest updates and most exclusive information to earth. As per the reports shared by the officials of ISRO the orbiter will gather the geographical information like mapping, moon’s surface, etc while the lander will land on the moon’s surface and release the rover for further excavation and research.

Chandrayaan 2 Objectives at a glance:

Gather information about Moon’s surface.

Find more minerals other than hydroxyl and water molecules.

Successfully perform “soft” landing on the lunar surface.

Gather information about the atmospheric layers in Moon’s atmosphere.

Challenges for Chandrayaan 2: