With the success of Chandrayaan-2, India would become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon, after the space agencies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, and China. And, the first to launch the mission to the South Pole. Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar exploration mission developed by ISRO, after Chandrayaan-1. Chandrayaan-2 was launched from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center on July.22.2019. It used GSLV Mark III for launching. Chandrayaan-2 carried a lunar orbiter, a lander Vikram, and a lunar rover Pragyan; all of them were developed in India.
Chandrayaan-2 will go where no country has ever gone before- the moon’s South Pole region. Why the lunar South Pole? Because the area here that remains in shadow is much larger than at the North Pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in the permanently shadowed area. Also, the South Pole has craters that are cold traps and comprise a fossil record of the early solar system.
It is expected that Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft-land the lander and rover in a high plain between two craters - Manzinus C and Simpelius N-at a latitude of about 70° south in the wee hours of Saturday, September.07.2019.
The mission aims to further expand the knowledge about the moon through a detailed study of its topography, surface chemical compositionthermo-physical characteristics, mineralogy, and atmosphere. This will help in gaining a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon.
July 22: India’s GSLV Mark III had successfully launched the 3840 kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the earth’s orbit.
August 14: ISRO carried out a crucial maneuver called Trans Lunar Insertion to place the spacecraft on “Lunar Transfer Trajectory.”
September 3: National geographic announced that is all set to take its viewers one once in a lifetime expedition to witness a historic event in the country’s space endeavors, the Chandrayaan-2 landing in the wee hours of September 6.
September 4: 16 students from various Kendriya Vidhyalayas across the nation have been shortlisted through an online quiz conducted by ISRO to witness the landing of Chandrayaan-2 with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 7. A total number of 1, 50,279 students participated in the online quiz. The second de-orbiting operation was performed using an onboard propulsion system. The duration of the operation was 9 seconds.
September 5: Chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) K Sivan recently said the space agency "had done everything humanly possible" for the mission's success. Top space scientists have also expressed confidence about the success of the Chandrayaan-2. "It's going to be a remarkable event (soft-landing) and we are all looking forward to it. I am sure it will be a 100 percent success", former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair, who spearheaded the Chandrayaan-1 mission more than a decade ago, told PTI.
Another former ISRO Chairman, A S Kiran Kumar, described the proposed soft-landing as one of the very critical operations. "So far, whatever has been done in comparison to that now we are entering the most critical phase, and up to now, all things have gone as per the plan and expectation is everything will go as per the plan."
September 6: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said, "Its success will benefit crores of Indians," he said in a series of tweets.
September 7: 1,471 kg lander is expected to execute soft landing on the lunar surface. The rover, a 27 kg six-wheeled robotic vehicle will roll down from the lander after a few hours of landing and will explore the surrounding the lunar terrain.
For more updates, stay tuned.