ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission is ready to perform a soft-landing on the lunar surface, in a couple of hours. Lander ‘Vikram’ began its final decent towards Moon’s south pole. It will be travelling at about 6 km per second or about 21,600 km per hour.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Bengaluru to witness from an ISRO centre the planned landing of Chandrayaan-2’s ‘Vikram’ module on the lunar surface. “Its success will benefit crores of Indians,” he said in a series of tweets. Follow Chandrayaan-2 LIVE updates
If successful, this would be India’s first soft landing on the moon’s surface. Only the US, the erstwhile USSR, and China have been successful in landing humans or machines on the moon.
Chandrayaan-2 would look for further evidence of the presence of water on the moon, and attempt to assess the abundance of water. Presence of water is crucial for the hopes of using moon as a future launch pad to send probes deeper into space. Such a facility would require human beings to use the moon for extended period stays which is not possible in the absence of water.
It is economically not feasible to transport water from the earth to sustain extended human presence on the moon. A lot of water is believed to be present in the polar regions of the moon, trapped as ice in deep craters. Some estimates put the amounts of ice in the polar region to be in millions to billions of tonnes.
Chandrayaan-2 would provide fresh evidence on the presence of water, especially in the polar region. It would also assess the abundance of water molecules on moon.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines