Monday September 16, 2019
Home India Chandrayaan-2...

Chandrayaan-2: India Set to Launch a Mission to Moon

India’s most powerful rocket launcher is scheduled to carry the Chandrayaan-2

0
//
india, mission
Indian Space Research Organization scientists work on various modules of lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE) in Bengaluru, India, June 12, 2019. VOA

In the early hours of Monday, India is set to launch a mission to an uncharted area of the moon, marking a significant milestone in its steadily expanding ambitions in space. If successful, India would become the fourth country to land a probe on the moon after the United States, Russia and China and secure its place as a leading space-faring nation.

India’s most powerful rocket launcher is scheduled to carry the Chandrayaan-2, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, from Sriharikota in eastern India. It will have a lunar orbiter, lander and rover.

The real test of the mission will come about 50 days later, around Sept. 6, when the lander will attempt a controlled landing on the lunar surface at the South Pole of the moon, which no country has attempted so far.

South Pole

“The challenge is to demonstrate our capacity to undertake such a complex mission for the soft and precise moon landing on the South Polar region for the first time,” according to P. Kunhikrishnan, director, UR Rao satellite center at the Indian Space Research Organization.

india, mission
This July 2019, photo released by the Indian Space Research Organization shows its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII-M1 being prepared for its July 15 launch in Sriharikota, an island off India’s southeastern coast. VOA

Space scientists say that the moon’s South Pole is interesting because it holds the promise of water. The lunar rover will operate for 14 days, mapping the moon’s surface and through experiments look for signs of water and assess its topography and geology.

“From a technological perspective it is very relevant because it will be a leapfrog as far as India’s technology level is concerned,” says Ajay Lele at the Indian Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, pointing out that the orbiter, lander and rover have been indigenously designed. “You want your robotic equipment to function on the surface of the moon.”

The Chandrayaan-2 was originally planned as a collaboration with Russia’s space agency, but Indian scientists went it alone after the tie-up was shelved.

Decade after first mission

Monday’s mission is being launched a decade after India’s first in 2008 placed an unmanned spacecraft in an orbit around the moon. That mission helped confirm the presence of water on the lunar surface.

india, moon, mission
An employee playfully hugs a cutout of a crescent moon at the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi, India, July 11, 2019. India is preparing its second unmanned mission to the moon, this one aimed at landing a rover near the unexplored south pole. VOA

The Chandrayaan-2 mission comes amid a resurgence of interest in the exploration of the moon both in the United States and in Asia and is seen as a signal that India does not want to be left behind in a growing space race. China made a soft landing on the moon in early January and has announced plans for more missions.

“India has a much smaller space program and has limited capacities when you compare it to the U.S. and so on,” said Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. “So the kind of things India is trying to do if it becomes successful one with the Chandrayaan 2 mission, that will be a significant achievement for India.”

ALSO READ: National Gallery of Art in US to Display Rare Moon Images from 1850s

India, which prides itself on its low cost space missions, is spending around $141 million on the mission. Although the country was a relative latecomer to the space race, it has developed a reputation for conducting its space explorations at a fraction of the cost spent by countries like the United States.

Among other goalposts India has set in the coming years is to put a space station in orbit, an astronaut in space by 2022, a robotic mission to Mars and a mission to explore the sun. (VOA)

Next Story

YouTube Rolls out ‘YouTube Charts’ in India to Empower Local Artists

YouTube Charts are also available within YouTube Music, including “Top 100” most played songs and “Top 100” music videos globally and locally and “Top 30 Trending” chart

0
youtube
FILE - Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

Google-owned YouTube on Monday rolled out “YouTube Charts” in India that will showcase country-specific trending music lists, top songs, artists and music videos at one place.

Now available in 56 countries alongside the global chart, “YouTube Charts” has more than two billion global users and 265 million monthly users in India.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from Indian artists, labels and fans that they want a single source of truth to see what’s hot and popular in the world of music. I’m incredibly excited to bring YouTube charts to India,” Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said in a statement.

Over the last year, many Indian artists including Guru Randhawa, Badshah, Arijit Singh and Neha Kakkar have reached the YouTube music country charts in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada along with the global chart.

youtube, virtual makeup
FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

“Indian artists have truly gone global. Week to week in 2019, on an average 20 per cent of the entries on the ‘Global Top Songs’ chart have featured Indian artists. Their popularity outside India is a testimony of YouTube’s massive global reach and opportunities it offers to artists,” elaborated Pawan Agarwal, Head of Music Partnerships, YouTube & Google Play, India and South Asia at YouTube.

Also Read: India Ranks Sixth Country in the World for Highest Cyber Attacks on Pharma Firms

The YouTube Charts include trending lists, top songs, artists and music videos.

YouTube Charts are also available within YouTube Music, including “Top 100” most played songs and “Top 100” music videos globally and locally and “Top 30 Trending” chart. (IANS)