Chandrayaan 2, India's second lunar exploration mission, successfully manoeuvred into lunar orbit on Tuesday, after 28 days of space travel. The lift-off of Chandrayaan 2 on July 22 was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch. Prior to this, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched Chandrayaan-1, India's first Indian lunar probe in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The world over, countries, companies and even individuals are turning to the Moon - vying each other to fly their flags on lunar South Pole.
Indian Space Research Organisation explains why nations are investing resources to reach Moon's South Pole:
- Moon's craters have been untouched by sunlight for billions of years - offering an undisturbed record of the solar system's origins.
- Its permanently 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.
- Its elemental and positional advantages make it a suitable pit stop for future space exploration.
According to ISRO, Chandrayaan 2's lander will separate from the orbiter and enter into a 100 km x 30 km orbit around the moon. Then, it will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to soft land in the south polar region of the moon on 1:40 am on September 7, 2019. This is India's most ambitious space mission to date and Chandrayaan 2 mission stands out because of its low cost, with just about Rs. 1,000 crore spent.