Chandrayaan-2, a lunar mission consisting of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, was launched in July 2019. However, it experienced a setback as it achieved only partial success. Despite this, the orbiter of the mission has been successfully functioning and conducting studies of the Moon to this day. Regrettably, the lander and the rover were unable to complete a smooth landing, which resulted in their unfortunate crash during touchdown.
As part of India’s ambitious space exploration program, Chandrayaan-2 aimed to further our understanding of the Moon and expand our knowledge of lunar geological composition, the presence of water and ice, and potential resources. The mission was a collaborative effort between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other institutions, with the goal of contributing to the global scientific community’s investigations into the Moon.
When the spacecraft embarked on its journey to the Moon’s orbit, it carried the orbiter, lander, and rover onboard. The orbiter, equipped with several scientific instruments, entered lunar orbit successfully and has been diligently gathering data and images of the Moon’s surface. It has been instrumental in providing valuable insights into various aspects of our celestial neighbor.
On the other hand, the lander and rover, named Vikram and Pragyan respectively, faced several challenges during their descent. Although the initial phases of the landing process proceeded smoothly, communications with the lander suddenly ceased moments before touchdown. Subsequent analysis revealed that the lander deviated from its planned trajectory and experienced a hard landing, resulting in the crash.
Despite the setback, the remaining components of Chandrayaan-2 continue to contribute significantly to lunar research. The orbiter’s ongoing mission includes mapping the lunar surface, analyzing the exosphere (a thin layer of gases around the Moon), and studying the water ice and hydroxyl present in the polar regions. Its findings have been pivotal in enhancing our understanding of the Moon’s geology and its evolution over time.
Moreover, the data collected by the orbiter has facilitated the identification of potential landing sites for future lunar missions. This knowledge is invaluable for scientists and engineers planning to land spacecraft and conduct experiments on the Moon’s surface. The orbiter has also played a crucial role in enabling global collaborations by sharing data with other nations’ space agencies interested in lunar studies.
In conclusion, although the Chandrayaan-2 mission faced adversity with the unsuccessful landing of the lander-rover, its orbiter continues to orbit the Moon and investigate its mysteries. Its endeavors have led to significant advancements in lunar research, including the mapping of the Moon’s surface and the identification of potential landing sites for future missions. Despite the challenges faced, the mission has been an important stepping stone in India’s space exploration journey and has contributed to the global scientific community’s understanding of our celestial neighbor.