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Going to the Moon... Again

Going to the Moon… Again

By: Davi Zheng and Antonio Macedo

Launched on July 22, 2019 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Chandrayaan-2 is the next Moon landing mission. India will be the fourth country to land on the Moon in the history of mankind, coming after the United States, the USSR and China. Chandrayaan-2 was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and aims to land where no country has ever gone before - the Moon’s south polar region.

Chandrayaan 2 is an orbiter which carries Vikram; the lander (responsible for landing the orbiter), and Praygan; the rover (responsible for exploring the moon’s surface). For those of you who have no idea what an orbiter is, it is the “Space plane” or “Space Shuttle” responsible for travelling in space. Chandrayaan 2, however, has a different shape compared to typical space shuttles (illustrated in the photos below).












Chandrayaan-2

Source: Harris, Mark. “NASA's Space Shuttle Rises From the Dead to Power New Vehicles.” Wired, Conde Nast, 6 Mar. 2019, www.wired.com/story/nasas-space-shuttle-rises-from-the-dead-to-power-new-vehicles/.













The “Space Shuttle” you probably know about Source: “Chandrayaan-2.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Sept. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-2.


The orbiter is equipped with extremely high technology equipment and it has numerous satellites and networks which allow tracking and communication.

The primary objective of Chandrayaan 2 is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land a robot on the moon's surface. The mission aims to find information regarding lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and any signs of water and ice. Pragyan will be responsible for covering the lunar surface in search of water and collecting samples of Helium-3, which scientists believe may be a new energy source!

The mission has entered lunar orbit on the 20th of August. In addition, the lander and orbiter are expected to separate on September 2nd. On the 7th of September, it is estimated to finally land on the surface of the Moon.

Although there are some negative aspects of the Moon landing such as its extremely high budget and damages to the Earth’s atmosphere, as once said by the first person to ever step on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, this will be another “One small step for a man, but one giant leap for humanity”. Humanity will learn even more about our nearby sphere and about space, and this will bring many more advancements in our research and technology sector.

With all this in mind, hopefully we will be able to plan for safer, quicker, and overall better missions to farther destinations in the future. And if we are extremely lucky, hopefully we come across extraterrestrial life or be capable of colonizing other planets……...Like Mars.

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