Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon, had failed to make a soft-landing on the lunar surface in 2019. But the orbiter part of the mission has been functioning normally, and ISRO recently released those critical scientific findings. Lets's have a look at some of them and their implications.
Crux of the Matter
Chandrayaan-1 was the first Indian lunar probe launched by ISRO in 2008, and operated until 2009. It was a major boost to India's space program, as India developed its own technology to explore the Moon.
What Happened In 2019?
Due to a software glitch, the lander and rover of the second lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-2 crash-landed. However, the orbiter part of the mission has been functioning normally since.
Finding 1: OH V/S H20
Presence of water on moon was confirmed by Chandrayaan-1. However, the instrument used was not sensitive enough to detect whether the signals came from the hydroxyl radical (OH) or water (H2O).
Also, water was previously known to be present mostly in the polar regions of the Moon. Notably, Chandrayaan-2 found signatures of water at all latitudes.
Finding 2: Minor Elements
The Large Area Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (CLASS) detected Chromium and Manganese for the first time through remote sensing.
Finding 3: Solar Flares
One of Chandrayaan-2’s payloads, Solar X-ray Monitor observed these sudden flashes of increased brightness on the Sun, which can help us understand solar corona better.
These findings will help in exploring the permanently shadowed regions, craters and boulders along with the loose deposit on the top surface of the moon, and in researching more about future landing and drilling sites.
Ready for Chandrayaan-3?
Chandrayaan-3 will be launched in 2022, to demonstrate the landing capabilities needed for the next Lunar Polar Exploration Mission, proposed in partnership with Japan in 2024.
Jawahar Point was named to mark the 'Moon Impact Probe' striking the lunar surface after being released from India's first lunar orbiter mission Chandrayaan-1. The Moon Impact Probe crash-landed on 14th November 2008, the birthday of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, near the Shackleton crater on the Moon.