Chandrayaan2: India, world?s 1st country to land on South Polar Region.
Chandrayaan-2 is the 2nd lunar mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after Chandrayaan-1. The mission was launched to the Moon from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre on 22 July 2019 at 2.43 PM IST by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III. It consists of a lunar orbiter, a lander, and a lunar rover named Pragyan, all of which were developed in India. It is an Indian lunar mission that will boldly go where no country has ever gone before ? the Moon's South Polar Region. Through this effort, the aim is to improve the understanding of the Moon.
The aims of Chandrayaan-2 are to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of Hydroxyl and water ice. An orbiter will map the lunar surface and help to prepare 3D maps of it. The onboard radar will also map the surface while studying the water ice in the South Polar Region and thickness of the lunar Regolith on the surface.
Why the South Polar Region?
Moon has provided the best linkage to Earth?s early history. But Moon still needs further explanations and exploration. Extensive mapping of the lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon. Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires further studies on the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface, and in the tenuous lunar exosphere to address the origin of water on Moon.
The lunar South Pole is especially challenging because the lunar surface area here that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. Adding to that, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System.
Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft-land the lander -Vikram and rover- Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at the latitude of about 70