Chandrayaan 2, built on the success of Chandrayaan 1, is India’s first rover mission to the lunar surface. Chandrayaan 2 was launched recently and it was expected to make a soft landing to the lunar south pole between two craters ManzimusC and Simpelius N on 7 of September 2019 but unfortunately, we lost its control at a very short distance towards the success. Still we could proudly say that ISRO has made a huge success as till now only 3 countries had made a soft landing on the lunar surface, namely USA, USSR and China, and that too on the lunar north pole, where the solar power is available continuously. No one has ever touched the lunar south pole. India would have been the first country to touch the southern part of the moon, if we haven’t lost the communication with the launcher.
Chandrayaan 2 is a completely indigenous mission comprising of a lander named Vikram (named after Vikram Sarabhai) which is to release a small robotic rover named Pragyan (meaning wisdom) to move around, feel and understand the lunar surface.
The launcher generates power for its functioning from the sunlight. Thus the expected life of the mission was 14 days that is one lunar day, the time this part of moon gets constant light.
The mother ship (orbiter) is to go around the moon at a distance of about 100km, taking pictures and gathering surface information. It also carried NASA’s refractometer to mark the spot for future missions and asses the distance from earth.
GSLV MK III is the carrier of the mission.
This was a huge task as in order to make a soft landing there are a handful of challenges to overcome like trajectory accuracy, communication issues as radio signals would be weak, lunar dust can be deadly for the rover and launcher and so on. In the midst of all these hurdles where the success of the mission was just 35%, our ISRO had made it to 95% which is a really big task and it’s the time to be proud rather than feeling depressed. Still, we have some hope left as the news of spotting Vikram is on air.