India's moon lander to go where no nation has dared
Rover Vikram to land near Moon’s South Pole
New Delhi: Chandrayaan-2, India's most ambitious second lunar mission to be launched on July 15, will be the first of its kind as it will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon — its South Polar region. Leveraging nearly a decade of scientific research and engineering development, the mission is aimed at helping in better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface.
It will explore the topography of the moon and its composition and will search for water besides conducting in-situ studies. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space CentRE at Sriharikota on-board heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), nicknamed as 'Bahubali', at 2.51 am on July 15. The Lander, Vikram, will land near South Pole of the moon on September 6.
Subsequently, the Rover will roll out and carry out experiments on Lunar surface for a period of one Lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth days. The Orbiter will continue its mission for one year. The Orbiter payloads will conduct remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit while the Lander and Rover payloads will perform in-situ measurements near the landing site.
The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here, that remains in shadow, is much larger than that at the North Pole, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which is making preparations for the successful launch.
There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System, it said. What makes Chandrayaan-2 special is that it is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's South Polar region. It is also the first Indian expedition to attempt soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology.