Space Digest – Everything you need to know about Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan 2 was India’s most ambitious space undertaking. If you’ve been wanting to know everything about Chandrayaan 2, from the mission science and tech to finding the crashed Vikram lander, here is a digest of my articles covering aspects of the mission.

First up, here is a detailed piece on the technology and science of the Chandrayaan 2 mission. It should also serve as a great refresher for those who may have forgotten the tidbits.

I’ve also covered what was it like to see the Chandrayaan 2 launch in person! Chandrayaan 2 was launched on a GSLV Mk III, India’s most powerful rocket to date. Here is my article describing the launch experience, with the launch video!

The ability to soft-land on extraterrestrial objects like the Moon is key to long-term space exploration. What does Vikram lander’s crash mean for the future of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)? To understand that, I take a look at Chandrayaan 2’s full technology stack and why ISRO needs to, and probably will go back to the launch pad.

The Vikram lander crashed on the lunar surface on Sep 7, 2019, but it was only in December that scientists found it. Why did it take so long to find the spacecraft? I dive into the technical challenges faced by NASA and ISRO in locating it from space!

At NASA’s Exploration Science Forum in July 2019, the Japanese space agency, JAXA, presented a roadmap for the country’s Moon exploration plans. It includes a joint JAXA-ISRO mission before 2025 to the lunar poles in which ISRO will design and build the lander. To explore the lunar poles, it would be crucial for the lander to possess technologies that allow it to survive the extremely cold lunar nights. I’ve written about why this is essential for not just exploring deep space objects and outer planets of the solar system, but also for building long-term habitats on the Moon and beyond.

India’s first Moon orbiter, Chandrayaan 1, made headlines when it discovered water on the Moon in 2009. In the 10 years since, the next step has been to understand the exact nature of and the amount of water the Moon hosts. This is where NASA’s LRO and ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 orbiters come in. The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter’s instruments intend to extend our knowledge of water on the Moon.

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