India sees big payoff in Chandrayaan 2 mission: ISRO

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan holds up a model of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore on August 20, 2019. (Photo by Manjunath Kiran / AFP)

Soon after landing on the September 7, Chandrayaan 2 will start to execute a series of tests which, India believes which result in a “quantum leap” in technology. 

“The implications of the mission are large, not only will India benefit by the unearthing of new alloys, but we will be a recipient of new scientific discoveries and new breakthroughs,” said director K Sivan.

Most importantly, he added that the international community will benefit from the mission, in that all the data collected will be shared with the scientists and aerospace agencies around the world.

The choice of landing in the south pole was a deliberate, Sivan added, explaining that it not only presented unique challenges at landing a spacecraft at an oblique angle to the moon but the south pole itself is believed to concentrations of critically important minerals and metals such as aluminium, manganese and iron.

However, the south pole is a harsh place, replete with craters and subject to temperatures as low as -233 Celsius (-388 Fahrenheit). Sunlight is limited here and long shadows which cling to the side of craters never appear to dissolve. 

However, engineers believe that water ice within these shadowed crater walls could be easier to collect than in other places.

“We suspect that the south pole also has large quantities of water, which the Chandrayaan 2’s rover will test for,” Sivan said. 

It is no coincidence that the south pole is the location of choice for a P opposed US human Colony. 

Sivan explained that Nasa had tweeted a message of congratulation for Isro saying: “you are going where the human race is next going to go”

While the lander and rover an official lifespan over 14 earth days - and the length of a standard lunar day, as predicted by the mission’s solar technology which will go dark in the lunar night, Sivan expressed the hope that systems will reactive following the conclusion of the night.

“Our systems are certificated to withstanding the punished - 200C temperatures which dominate the night. If our systems came back online following the resumption of the lunar day cycle, we will have to see what additional scientific tests that we can continue.”

As for the lunar orbit which has an official lifespan of 1 year, during which time it will be used to map the lunar surface, Sivan clarified that increased efficiency may see the life of the orbiter extend to beyond a year, but would not clarify that the orbiter would last for 2 years as reported in some media.

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