Guwahati: Space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that on Thursday India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 completed its one year in orbit around the moon. All instruments are presently functioning without any hitch and there is adequate fuel on board to keep it operational for seven more years.
Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 last year and then inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20, exactly a year ago. ISRO said that though the soft-landing attempt was not successful, the orbiter which was equipped with eight scientific instruments were successfully placed in the lunar orbit. “The orbiter completed more than 4,400 orbits around the Moon and all the instruments are currently performing well,” the organisation added.
Chandrayaan-2’s mission was India’s first attempt in making a soft-landing of a rover on the uncharted South Pole of the lunar surface. The agency even added that the spacecraft was healthy and the performance of the subsystems are normal. Additionally, the scientific payloads included high-resolution cameras, onboard the orbiter to map the lunar surface, and even study the outer atmosphere- exosphere of the moon.
ISRO also said that the raw data from the payloads have already been downloaded at the Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC) during the course of the year. Additionally, the public release was planned by the end of this year after validation by a formal peer review. It said that the orbiter demonstrates the in-orbit performance of payloads, strongly indicating its ability to contribute significantly to lunar science. This was after adding the observations from Chandrayaan-2.
The space agency added: “The anticipated long life of this orbiter can contribute much to the current resurgence of interest among the global scientific community for a sustained presence on the Moon.”
Earth’s only natural satellite has always been an enigma to modern science. The more we study the more we feel the insignificance of our knowledge. Chandryaan-2 was launched to further expand the knowledge about the moon. Via a detailed study of its topography, mineralogy, thermo-physical characteristics, surface chemical composition, and atmosphere leading to a better understanding of the evolution and the origin of the moon.
Moreover, India’s first mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-1, which was launched in 2008, had given clear evidence on the extensive presence of surface water. It also gave us the indication for subsurface polar water-ice deposits.