Ten years since October 22, 2008, the Indian Space Research Organization launched Chandrayaan-1, India's first planetary probe against the moon.…
Ten years since October 22, 2008, the Indian Space Research Organization launched Chandrayaan-1, India’s first planetary probe against the moon. A few weeks from now, the mission’s successor – Chandrayaan-2 – is scheduled to follow many unforeseen delays in the launch date, a report in Times of India 19659002] Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first planetary mission to the moon and conducted a series of experiments, both Indian and international, to the lunar course. The probe collected very significant data about its mission to circumvent and study the moon’s chemistry, geology and mineral pain for almost a year.
Among the many findings was direct evidence of water on the moon. Data from Moon Mineralogy Folders on Chandrayaan-1 were decisive for the find direct evidence that the moon actually has water on its surface. These deposits were found as concentrated water near the polar areas of the moon.
A second instrument on Chandrayaan-1, Mini-Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR), also found water deposits in landing craters. This has been a mixer for previous lunar missions as well as observations from the Earth, as it is not well investigated, but also inaccessible to satellite signals for communication with mission controllers on earth.
A third instrument, the Indian Moon Impact Probe (MIP) of Chandrayaan-1 picked up signatures of water in the meteorological sphere.
Finally, the discovery that made headlines throughout the world was the first “direct evidence” of water in the moon’s atmosphere just above the surface of the moon, gathered by the Chandra instrument’s altitude composition (CHACE) as the probe was on the moon.
These discoveries were made largely because the probe instrument was designed to detect even traces of water – in the form of hydroxyl ions (OH) as opposed to more known form of the water molecule (H20). This indicates that solar radiation quickly pulverizes water in hydrogen ions, which avoids the atmosphere and hydroxyl ions, which crave as water traces. .
Chandrayaan-2 Science Mission
The following in Chandrayaan-1’s heels is the Rs 800-crore ” Chandrayaan-2 ” unmanned mission, scheduled for January 3, 2019 launch.
This comes almost ten years after ISRO’s first mission to the moon, but carries a robber and a farmer unlike Chandrayaan-1 did. The 3,889 kg Chandrayaan-2 probe will launch on GOSV-MK-3 (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle). Lander will soften on the moon surface and loosen Rover to study and take measurements on the moon when the orbiter continues to circulate it from 100kms above the surface.
Landlords and rowers on Chandrayaan-2 will touch a location 600 kilometers from the southern lung of the moon. If successful, this would be the first time a moon mission landed so far from the equator, a report in Science .
Rover – weighs only 25 kilograms and about the size of a portfolio – will carry two instruments that study moon surface element composition – a laser-induced breakdown spectroscope (LIBS) and an alpha particle ray spectrometer (APXS).
The probe also has an instrument to measure the moon’s plasma – a layer of charged molecules over the surface of the moon that can explain why the moon cloud, the dusty material covering the surface of the moon, floats over the surface for long periods of time. Chandrayaan-2 will also wear a seismometer to record shakes on the moon and take over from Apollo 11’s efforts to study the phenomenon.
The mission will also provide a map of the moon’s topology, which could add many new findings to existing data due to its unique landing choice.
The hopes and challenges that run along the mission
The launch of Chandrayaan-2 was initialed for the second half of 2018.
“Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled for a window from January 3 to February 16 2019 as we target. It may happen at any time below that window. However, we aim for the beginning of the window on January 3, “said Sivan when he addressed the media, according to for various reports.
When ISRO was questioned about the rocket certification office that would carry Indian astronauts, Sivan said that ISRO would be the certification agency.  “You can say this is Chand rayaan-3 as the project has been completely reconfigured,” Sivan told TOI . “If we went with the previous configuration, it would have been a disaster. They had not thought of so many issues that are being corrected now.”
Sivan added that the standards for certification will be drawn with the help of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and that ISRO would like to gain the expertise of other countries in this regard.
With all plans on Chandrayaan-2’s scientific agenda, a successful landing near the South Pole would in itself be a remarkable achievement for ISRO and space exploration across the globe.
“One of NASA’s main priorities is to go [to the south pole] on a trial tour,” said James Greenwood, a kosmologist at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut to Science .
“So it can help us later, down-the-road, as they give us more information about what’s available.”