ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 moon mission: Why are we going to the Moon?
Moon is the Earth's natural satellite which was formed around 4.6 billion years ago after the formation of the solar system. In 1959, the first unmanned mission to the Moon was launched by the Soviet Lunar Program with the first manned landing being Apollo 11 in 1969.
In the first attempt, it was the path-breaking discovery to find out that moon holds water. Not only, India but several other countries also attempting and researching on Moon via sending several missions. But question arises that why everyone wants to go to moon? What is the reason behind it? Let us find out!
ISRO said that moon is the cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented. As per the requirement, technologies for deep-space missions can be demonstrated. Chandrayaan-2 will be a new age discovery which will increase our understanding of space.
It will also stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances and also inspires future generation to explore. No doubt Chandrayaan-2 moon mission will be the most ambitious space mission the nation has attempted and also totally indigenous. When it enters the lunar orbit, gently, it will drop a lander named Vikaram on the surface of the moon near South Pole. Then a robot rover named Pragyan will be dispatched and for next two weeks it will mo
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ve there in the local terrain that will help in analysing the chemical composition of soil and rocks.
The spaceship of India is not alone that will land on the surface of the moon, however, China's Chang'e-4 also landed on the far side of the moon in January 2019. On the other side US has also pledged to set up a lunar laboratories in the near future, whereas Europe and Russia have also revealed plans to launch complex missions to moon. Why everyone is interested in going moon?
We see only one side of the moon and most of the humankind's lunar science has step up on this visible side of the moon but around the world several space agencies are becoming more ambitious and wants to study the dark side of the Moon or the side that we can't see from the Earth. Scientists have more interest on the Moon's South Pole because they believe that it consists of small amount of water. Due to darkness on this side of the moon, water ice persists inside the moon's regolith and at the bottom of the craters. This ice of water can be very useful in building colonies on the Moon in future.
Further scientists aim to find out minerals, formations of the rocks and to study about the lunar rocks in the moon surface as it could be used for building materials for lunar colony. According to Parker "Moon is a museum of the history of the solar system". The hole in the ozone layer impact climate change and global warming in the planet Earth. So, the kind of shift towards moon will be a new gateway. Also, for several enthusiasts, moon’s exploration, exploitation in space is necessary; sending people to Mars is the real goal to humanity. So, going there safely will be an incredibly difficult undertaking and it is necessary to learn first how to conquer the moon.
Now, we will see why ISRO is sending mission to the south pole of the moon?
According to ISRO, the South Pole on the moon is an interesting surface area which is not seen from the Earth and remained invisible. Presence of water will be a possibility in the shadowed region; also it may contain fossil records of the early solar system. The primary objective of ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-2 is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals are to study lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.
So, now you may have come to know why are we going to the moon.