Shining the light on India’s prestigious moon mission

School students and teachers attending a ‘Sawaal-Jawaab’ session on Chandrayaan-2 organised by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in the city on Saturday.  

“How many of you want to go to the moon?”

When P. Sreekumar, director of Space Science Program Office-ISRO, asked the question in a hall packed with school students to stress the point about human desire for exploration, most hands went up.

At a ‘Sawaal-Jawaab’ session on Chandrayaan-2 organised by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Hyderabad, on Saturday here, Mr Sreekumar explained to the students about the agenda of the complex mission, why the moon has to be studied and the reason behind its patches of black and white, among other aspects. He said the mission’s aim is to search for water on moon and to study the chemical and mineral composition of the lunar surface.

There might be some poles on the moon where there is no sunlight, Mr Sreekumar said, adding that if there was water in craters in such places during early formation of moon, the water will remain as ice which is a precious clue to know history of water in early days. The moon’s South Pole remains in shadow. “If the moon was formed with same materials as Earth, we will get to know early form of Earth. Moon preserves what happened billions of years ago,” he said. When a student asked what was special about the mission, he said no other country had gone to the South Pole.

Shining the light on India’s prestigious moon mission

The ISRO’s website states that moon provides the best linkage to Earth’s early history. It offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner solar system environment. Extensive mapping of lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface are essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the moon.

The students were explained about tools used for remote sensing a planetary body, which includes radar, mass spectroscopy. Initial results of the mission which includes photos of moon’s surface were shown to them. Future planetary exploration programmes of ISRO includes missions to Venus and Mars.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 12:09:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/shining-the-light-on-indias-prestigious-moon-mission/article29671933.ece

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