Two years of Chandrayaan-2.

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News: Recently, Chandrayaan-2, ISRO’s second Moon Mission completed its two years around the moon. Many new findings and discoveries were unveiled while commemorating the two years of ISRO’s orbiter. Read News Here.

Let’s Understand in Simple Language:

The Chandrayaan 2 Mission was the second Moon Mission by India which was launched on 22 July 2019. The take-off took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. GSLV MK III – M1 Launch Vehicle was used for the Chandrayaan 2 Mission.

The Lander of Chandrayaan-2 was named Vikram after Dr. Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme and the rover was a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan meaning Wisdom. This Pragyan orbiter is capable of communicating with Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu as well as the Vikram Lander. However, unfortunately, the Vikram lander crashed on the lunar surface on September 7, 2019, and was later found in December 2019. The thing to remember here is that the lander did not land at the intended location.

If India’s Vikram Lander would have landed on Moon, it would have become the fourth country to do so. Earlier, the USA, Soviet Russia, and China have achieved this feat.

Completion of Two Years of Chandrayaan 2:

To date, the Chandrayaan 2 has completed more than 9,000 orbits around the Moon, confirmed K.Sivan, Chairman Of ISRO on the completion of 2 years. He also said that eight payloads onboard the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are conducting remote sensing and in-situ observations of the Moon at around 100 km altitude from the moon’s surface.

Of the eight payloads, one has found water-ice on the permanently shadowed region of the Moon. ISRO said that the permanently shadowed regions in the lunar poles contain water-ice of varied concentrations mixed with lunar regolith. The observation was conducted by the Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR), one of the eight instruments on the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which is capable of peering inside the lunar surface up to a few meters depth.

“DFSAR instrument on Chandrayaan-2 is the first-ever fully polarimetric dual-frequency imaging radar system in lunar orbit and is capable of probing these regions up to a few meters depth with full scattering matrix information, unlike its predecessors like CH-1 MiniSAR and LRO-MiniRF,” Isro said in the newly released data.

Chandrayaan 2 payloads:

  1. Terrain Mapping Camera 2 (TMC 2) : TMC 2 is a miniature version of the Terrain Mapping Camera used onboard the Chandrayaan 1 mission. Its primary objective is mapping the lunar surface in the panchromatic spectral band (0.5-0.8 microns) with a high spatial resolution of 5 m and a swath of 20 km from 100 km lunar polar orbit. The data collected by TMC 2 will give us clues about the Moon’s evolution and help us prepare 3D maps of the lunar surface.
  2. Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer: CLASS measures the Moon’s X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectra to examine the presence of major elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Titanium, Iron, and Sodium. The XRF technique will detect these elements by measuring the characteristic X-rays they emit when excited by the Sun’s rays.
  3. Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) : XSM observes the X-rays emitted by the Sun and its corona, measures the intensity of solar radiation in these rays, and supports CLASS. The primary objective of this payload is to provide solar X-ray spectrum in the energy range of 1-15 keV. XSM will provide high-energy resolution and high-cadence measurements (full spectrum every second) of solar X-ray spectra as input for analysis of data from CLASS.
  4. Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC): OHRC provides high-resolution images of the landing site — ensuring the Lander’s safe touchdown by detecting any craters or boulders prior to separation. The images it captures, taken from two different look angles, serve dual purposes. Firstly, they are used to generate DEMs (Digital Elevation Models) of the landing site. Secondly, they are used for scientific research, post-lander separation. OHRC’s images will be captured over the course of two orbits, covering an area of 12 km x 3 km with a ground resolution of 0.32 m.
  5. Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS): IIRS has two primary objectives:Global mineralogical and volatile mapping of the Moon in the spectral range of ~0.8-5.0 µm for the first time, at the high resolution of ~20 nm.Global mineralogical and volatile mapping of the Moon in the spectral range of ~0.8-5.0 µm for the first time, at the high resolution of ~20 nm
    • Complete characterisation of water/hydroxyl feature near 3.0 µm for the first time at high spatial (~80 m) and spectral (~20 nm) resolutions
    • IIRS will also measure the solar radiation reflected off the Moon’s surface in 256 contiguous spectral bands from 100 km lunar orbit.
  6. Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR):

The dual-frequency (L and S) SAR will provide enhanced capabilities compared to Chandrayaan 1’s S-band miniSAR in areas such as:

  • L-band for greater depth of penetration (About 5m — twice that of S-band)
  • Circular and full polarimetry — with a range of resolution options (2-75 m) and incident angles (9°-35°) — for understanding scattering properties of permanently shadowed regions

The main scientific objectives of this payload are:

  • High-resolution lunar mapping in the polar regions
  • Quantitative estimation of water-ice in the polar regions
  • Estimation of regolith thickness and its distribution.

7. Chandrayaan 2 Atmospheric Compositional Explorer 2 (CHACE 2): CHACE 2 will continue the CHACE experiment carried out by Chandrayaan 1. It is a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMA) capable of scanning the lunar neutral exosphere in the mass range of 1 to 300 amu with a mass resolution of ~0.5 amu. CHACE 2’s primary objective is to carry out an in-situ study of the composition and distribution of the lunar neutral exosphere and its variability.

8. Dual Frequency Radio Science (DFRS) Experiment: To study the temporal evolution of electron density in the Lunar ionosphere. Two coherent signals at X (8496 MHz) and S (2240 MHz) bands are transmitted simultaneously from satellite and received at ground-based deep station network receivers.

Questions related to topic for UPSC:

Which of the following statement is true for Chandrayaan-2?
A. Chandrayaan-2 is an indigenous mission.
B. Chandrayaan-2 moon mission launch date is delayed.
C. During Chandrayaan-2 launching a technical snag was observed in the launch vehicle system at T-56 minutes.
D. All the above
Ans. D

According to ISRO, the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission will explore which area of the moon?
A. Moon’s North Pole
B. Moon’s South Pole
C. Moon’s North-West part.
D. Unexplored part of the Moon
Ans. B

What are the objectives of launching the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission?
A. To map the surface of the moon.
B. Signature of water-ice on the lunar surface.
C. To collect data on minerals and the formation of rocks.
D. All the above
Ans. D

Chandrayaan-2 Lunar mission comprises:
A. An Orbiter
B. Lander
C. Rover
D. All the above
Ans. D

Which rocket will carry Chandrayaan-2 into space?
Ans. C

Which of the following statements are correct about Rover?
A. Rover is also known as Pragyan.
B. On the Lunar surface it will test the mineral and chemical composition.
C. Both A and B
D. Only A
Ans. C

Which of the following statement is or are correct about Orbiter?
A. Orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 will be installed at 100 km above the moon.
B. It consists of eight instruments.
C. it will bring the command sent from ISRO to the lander and the rover.
D. All the above
Ans. D

Chandraayan 2 is launched by _______.

Ans. D

Payload includes LIBS. It stands for _____________.
a) Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscope
b) Light-induced Breakdown Spectroscope
c) Laser-induced Breakdown Spectrophotometer
d) Light-induced Breakdown Spectrophotometer

Ans. A

One of the countries mentioned below has not conducted a moon landing mission. Identify the Country correctly.
a) China
b) USA
c) Russia
d) France

Ans. D

 Chandrayaan 2 is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s ___________ polar region.
a) East
b) West
c) North
d) South

Ans. D

Chandrayaan-3 is a robotic space mission concept by ISRO and ___________.
c) ESA
d) Roscosmos

Ans. B (Japan’s space agency)

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