In an interview with Republic TV, Dr. Rathnasree, Director of Nehru Planetarium spoke about Lander Vikram making a soft-landing on the South Polar side of the moon. Dr. Rathnasree Nandivada has been keeping a very close eye on all the developments in relation to Vikram's landing. It is a highly important day for the country, as ISRO is attempting to do what no other space organisation has done.
While the entire nation’s eyes are on the Moon at the moment, Nandivada was quoted saying “it is a major step for us, as a country and people from outside are also watching this particular mission. There is a lot of interest in this mission,”.
Nandivada further added that in a way this is a “back to the moon” mission as before Chandrayaan-2, there was the Apollo mission followed by a decade of moon explorations. However, international space agencies witnessed a hiatus for about three decades when space exploration came to a standstill. “The Chandrayaan-1 mission when it went, it was a back to the moon mission at that time and it did give results which turned the direction of exploration because the question of water became much more important,” she said.
Prior to the quest of searching for water, the primary mission of going to the moon was to do with the formation of the moon and what is the moon about, Dr Ratnasree added. “That question is still of prime importance but the presence of water in hydrated minerals form on the moon whose indications were there before got confirmed with Chandrayaan-1.” Now there are much more detailed observations that have happened with various orbital missions, she added.
ISRO’s mission Chandrayaan-2 is also going to observe through the orbit, the presence of minerals on the moon, but in a “special location” where it has not been tried before, said the Director of the Planetarium, Ratnasree. Vikram is set to soft-land at this “special location”. From there, Vikram will observe what the mineral content is and if there is a presence of water. She added that the lander will further look into other aspects such as the nature of its plasma and temperature variations.
Arrangements for the viewing have been made at the Nehru Planetarium, telescopes have been set up to view the Moon. “We have facilitated this for anyone that is interested, they are welcome to come and look at the Moon, get to know its features. We also have a sky theatre interaction where 200-250 people can sit at a time and have interactions about the moon,” Dr. Ratnashree saud. Massive celebrations are being planned and people are really excited to view the landing of Chandrayaan-2.
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