Water, Minerals?: Chandrayaan 2 To Uncover Mysteries Of Moon's South Pole

Chandrayaan 2 landing: After the mission's success, India will be among the elite group of nations--US, China and Russia--that have made a soft landing on the moon.

Water, Minerals?: Chandrayaan 2 To Uncover Mysteries Of Moon's South Pole

Chandrayaan 2: ISRO had dubbed soft-landing on the moon as "15 minutes of terror."

Bengaluru:

India's ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 will reveal the mysteries of the moon's South Polar Region with the ''Vikram'' module all set for a historic soft-landing on the earth's celestial neighbour early on Saturday.

Soft-landing on the south pole of the moon is considered the most challenging part of the mission that ISRO had dubbed as "15 minutes of terror".

The moon's South Pole remains shrouded in mystery. There is a possibility of the presence of water in the permanently shadowed areas around it. The South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System.

Chandrayaan-2's lander ''Vikram'', with rover ''Pragyan'', is sacheduled for a powered-descent between 1 am and 2 am on September 7, followed by its touchdown between 1.30 am and 2.30 am.

Following the landing, the rover ''Pragyan'' will roll out from ''Vikram'' between 5.30 am and 6.30 am.

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Chandrayaan 2 will explore the Moon's south pole, a region that remains shrouded in mystery. 

A successful landing would make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve a soft landing on the moon. But it would be the first to launch a mission to the unexplored south pole of the Moon.

ISRO has said, Chandrayaan-2 would attempt to soft land the lander ''Vikram'' and rover ''Pragyan'' in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N.

While, the ''Pragyan'' will carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days, the main orbiter would continue its mission for a year.

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"From a scientific point of view, the south pole is under shadow region more than North Pole. Because of this special aspect of south pole, the presence of water and minerals is expected," ISRO Chief K Sivan had said.

ISRO said craters of the moon's south pole craters have been untouched by sunlight for billions of years, offering an undisturbed record of the solar system's origins. The shadowed craters are estimated to hold nearly 100 million tons of water.

Its regolith has traces of hydrogen, ammonia, methane, sodium, mercury and silver making it an untapped source of essential resources, ISRO said adding that its elemental and positional advantages makes it suitable pit stop for future space exploration.

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Chandrayaan's Pragyan rover will carry out experiments on the lunar surface for one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days. The main orbiter would continue its mission for a year.

ISRO said the Moon provides the best linkage to Earth's early history, with undisturbed historical record of the inner Solar system environment.

Though there are a few mature models, the origin of Moon still needs further explanation, ISRO said.

Extensive mapping of lunar surface to study variations in its composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon, ISRO said.

Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires further studies on the extent.