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  India   All India  13 Jun 2019  Chandrayaan-2 to hunt for water on moon

Chandrayaan-2 to hunt for water on moon

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 13, 2019, 6:49 am IST
Updated : Jun 13, 2019, 6:49 am IST

Mission will also search seek of energy and feasibility of crew’s lunar landing.

The total mission costs less than Rs 1000 crores.
 The total mission costs less than Rs 1000 crores.

BENGALURU: It’s the trickiest mission ever attempted by Indian space scientists, but Chandrayaan-2, scheduled for launch in the wee hours of July 15, could well secure a place in the sun for them as the first team to land a rover close to the South Pole of the Moon.

The orbiter-lander-rover mission, the country’s second outing to the Moon, will probe the lunar surface for signs of water as well as new sources of abundant energy and eventually help a crew to land on the earth’s nearest astral neighbour. “We have left no stone unturned to make the lunar soft landing a success,” Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO, told the media here on Wednesday, while explaining about the most complex mission being attempted by the space agency.

The total mission costs less than Rs 1000 crores (Rs 603 crores for Chandrayaan-2 and Rs 350 crores for GSLV MK III rocket), but soft-landing on a territory never visited by any probes would be the most challenging part of this mission. Describing the 15 minute-long final descent of the lander, “Vikram”, named after the late Dr Vikram Sarabhai, on September 6 or 7 as the “most terrifying moment”, Dr Sivan said that it would be a heart-in-the-mouth situation for everyone in the country as complicated operations and technical skills would be involved to ensure a smooth landing on the Moon. Four hours later, the rover, “Pragyan”, would emerge from the lander and crawl for about 500 meters, tiptoeing its way around the South Pole at a speed of one cm a second,  and analyze the lunar crust for water. “The rover will send pictures of the lunar surface within 20 minutes of landing,” he added.

He said the South Pole was chosen both for convenience (a spot sans craters or boulders) and to carryout scientific studies on lunar soil. “From Science point of view, the South Pole is under shadow region more than North Pole, and because of this special aspect of South Pole, water is expected to be more, and also more minerals are expected to be there,” he added.

Tags: chandrayaan-2, pragyan