The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 and 2 captured the imagination of the global community too. If the first mission, Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008, indicated the presence of water on the surface of the moon electrifying the scientific world and the general public alike, Chandrayaan-2 failed in the last stage of landing on the ‘dark side’ and in releasing the rover.
For science aficionados, this and other aspects of the ‘Moon Mission’ can be understood best at the newest show at B.M. Birla Planetarium of B.M. Birla Science Centre.
In fact, it now has the first digistar facility in both the Telugu States, an upgradation from the original ‘Goto Electromechanical Projector System’ to ‘Hybrid Projection System’ that includes both the Goto and digital projection systems.
“This is the next generation planetarium. The ₹4 crore digital Evans and Sutherland System has powerful projection systems of full dome digital images of the cosmos and events in the cosmos, bringing both the worlds in an exciting way to the viewer,” explained Director B.G. Sidharth.
Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan inaugurated the digital facility and also launched Chandrayaan 2 - The Concept as a tribute to ISRO’s Moon Mission. “The Chandrayaan project has made every person in India proud. It’s not a reflection of the capabilities of our scientists and technologists, but their blood, sweat and toil that went into making the mission a successful one. I convey my gratitude to those working on the mission,” she said, in a brief address before the show began. The show, with its vivid imagery, explained the objectives of Chandrayaan-2 and how the satellite was put into space and into the moon’s orbit before the ‘terrorising 15 minutes’ when its landing on the surface went awry.
Expressing confidence that colonisation of the moon could happen before the end of the century and it could be the base station to explore other planets and their moons, the show’s narrator raised a few pertinent questions: What will be the impact of this on human race considering the fact that there will be two inch increase in height due to zero gravity on moon and, whether humans will be seen as ‘invading’ alien homes in our quest for signs of other living beings in the universe?