Next Stop Moon: Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2 is everywhere these days from newspaper articles to magazines. What makes it so unique? The answer is: it has made India closer to join the group of nations that have explored the moon. Moreover, the recent development of Chandrayaan-2 of successfully entering the Lunar orbit too has brought this second mission of India to the limelight.

The Journey so far

The beginning of mission Chandrayaan-2 marked back to November 12th, 2007, when representatives of Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS – The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities) and ISRO signed an agreement wherein the two agencies agreed to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project. It was in 2009, ROSCOSMOS and ISRO completed the design of Chandrayaan-2 and soon after India and Russia reviewed it.

However, there was some hinderance which did not let the mission succeed. Russia delayed in developing the lander on time. Hence, the task was repeatedly postponed and rescheduled. Eventually, this led to the withdrawal of ROSCOSMOS from the agreement.

India decided to go further with the mission independently. On July 15th, 2019, the task was rescheduled to be launched, but due to a technical snag, ISRO had to put it off. So finally, it was on July 22nd, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 started its Journey of 3,84,000 km when the GSLV MKlll- M1 vehicle lifted off from ISRO’s spaceport from Sriharikota, in  Andhra Pradesh. Furthermore, after 28 days, it reached the Moon on August 20th and entered the Lunar orbit.

PM Narendra Modi in a tweet has congratulated the ISRO team over this vital step in this landmark journey towards the moon. Although like when a child completes his schooling, the tension of the new beginning emerges. Similarly, ISRO’s stress has also only increased, not reduced. Chairman K Sivan from ISRO had also mentioned about their tension and has explained that how for 30 minutes their heart was almost stopped when Chandrayaan-2 was completing the Lunar Orbit insertion manoeuvre because even a small error would have led to conclude failure of the mission.

Chandrayaan-2 in Lunar Orbit
Source: ISRO

Over the coming weeks, it will perform several such orbit manoeuvres to bring it nearer to the moon. What will happen on September 7th, 2019? Now as the Chandrayaan-2 has successfully entered lunar orbit, the sparkling eyes of everyone, especially the ISRO team is waiting for the D-Day. On September 7th, it will attempt landing a rover, Pragyaan on the moon and will make India the fourth country to land a rover on the moon. The success of this mission will make India the only country in the world to successfully perform “soft landing” near the lunar south pole. Hence, India’s most ambitious mission’s final result is awaited.

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