Monday, 19 August, 2019

Another step closer: Chandrayaan-2 successfully performs second orbit raising task

Inside Dark Polar Moon Craters A permanently shadowed lunar crater. Credit NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Sandra Phillips | 27 July, 2019, 00:36

The next manoeuvre is scheduled on July 29 between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm. India's first Lunar Mission in 2008 had identified traces of water on Moon.

The second earth bound orbit-raising maneuver for Chandryaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully on Friday, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement."Second earth bound orbit-raising maneuver for Chandryaan-2 spacecraft has been performed successfully today (July 26, 2019) at 0108 hrs (IST) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 883 seconds".

Having this insight before returning humans to the moon may mean that they don't have to visit these harsh craters as a water source and could still rely on parts of the lunar south pole that are illuminated by sunlight. ISRO says the mission is the first step towards building India's own space station, which it plans to do in five to seven years. Kudos to Scientists for successfully launching second mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan-2.

The moon doesn't have a protective atmosphere like Earth.

The craters present shade from the Sun, and at evening temperatures can reach as low as -233 Celsius. Meanwhile, the Vikram lander will try to detect moonquakes, measure the Moon's thermal conductivity (the degree to which the lunar surface can conduct electricity), and study the lunar ionosphere (the zone that's ionised by solar and cosmic radiation).

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The spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 comprises three major segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander "Vikram" (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover "Pragyan" (27 kg, two payloads). Chungying believes that joint work would promote a "shared mission of humankind" aimed at learning more about the Moon and beyond. The Lunar South Pole remains unexplored till date. In all, the Chandrayaan-2 mission involves 13 different elements, all of which were developed in-house by ISRO. It is India's most powerful launcher to date and is entirely designed and fabricated in the country.

Isro scientists were able to forgo the first orbit raising manoeuvre planned for the day after lift-off as the GSLV Mark III "over-performed" placing the spacecraft at an orbit about 6,000 km higher than intended.

But this is all for the future.

Impacts from icy comets can equally unlock and replenish the frozen h2o caches on the surface of the moon, the researchers clarify. Space, as it's often said, is hard.

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