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Last Updated : Jul 13, 2019 09:55 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Explained: Why India should be over the moon about Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to land near the moon’s South Pole and will open up a new era of lunar exploration, as no country has explored this region of the moon before.

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Where did the moon come from? It is this question that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants to help answer through its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2. The mission will be launched on July 15 at 2.51 am.

One of the most complex missions attempted to date, Chandrayaan-2 weighs 3.8 tonnes and is a 3-in-1 mission consisting of an orbiter, a lander and, a rover. Chandrayaan-2 will be flown from Sriharikota in India on GSLV Mark III, the mightiest rocket ever built by India. The lander and rover will be placed on the moon, in a ‘soft landing’, while the orbiter will continue to orbit the moon. The soft landing on Moon's surface is likely to be on September 6 or September 7.

A successful landing would make India the fourth country to soft land on the moon, a feat achieved only by the space agencies of the erstwhile USSR, United States, and China. There have been 38 soft landing attempts made by space agencies in the world, with a 52 percent success rate.

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Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to land near the moon’s South Pole and will open up a new era of lunar exploration, as no country has explored this region of the moon before.

What are the scientific objectives of Chandrayaan-2?

This mission will help us better understand the origin and evolution of the moon. Studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, and signatures of water ice are the prime objectives. The landing site near the lunar South Pole is especially interesting because there is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it.

Chandrayaan-1, launched in the year 2008 was India's first mission to the moon and played a crucial role in the discovery of water molecules on the Moon. And Chandrayaan-2, the follow on mission, is India's attempt to unravel more mysteries of the moon.

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First Published on Jul 13, 2019 09:55 am
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