Chandrayaan-3: Exploring the Moon’s Surface in 14 Days

India Achieves Historic Milestone: Chandrayaan-3’s Soft Landing on Moon’s South Pole

1. Exploring Earth-Like Planets for Life: SHAPE Instrument on Chandrayaan Mission

Chandrayaan holds the SHAPE instrument, short for Spectral-polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch, designed to study light coming from exoplanets, particularly those with potential life, and decipher differences in their spectral patterns compared to other bodies. This experiment is of great significance in the field of astronomy as it aids in the search for Earth-like planets, providing invaluable insights. Its success will resonate not only with NASA and the European Space Agency but also within the realm of cosmology.

2. Understanding the Distances Between Earth and Moon: LASER Retroreflector Array on Chandrayaan-3

The LASER Retroreflector Array is a crucial instrument integrated with Chandrayaan-3, designed by NASA, which will provide continuous information about the precise distance between Earth and the Moon. The phenomenon of orbital motion causing the distance between Earth and Moon to constantly increase and decrease will be monitored through this tool. The laser’s assistance will enable us to gather accurate data on the lunar orbit and its impact on our planet’s environment and coastal regions, simplifying the task of monitoring and managing oceanic expanses.

3. Using Lunar Soil: A Scientific Venture?

The Pragyan Rover will collect soil from the lunar surface, including soil particles and rocks. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) are two crucial instruments on the rover that will examine the lunar soil. By scrutinizing the lunar soil, scientists anticipate gaining insights into the age and evolutionary changes of the Moon. This examination will potentially unveil the Moon’s past and the alterations it has undergone over time, which in turn may aid in uncovering the mysteries of the formation of the entire solar system, including Earth.

4. Studying Swift Plasma for Human-Machine Interaction on Chandrayaan-3

Chandrayaan-3 also carries two specialized instruments named RAMBHA, which will study plasma activity on the lunar surface. Plasma is the fourth state of matter, distinct from solid, liquid, and gas. It exists at extremely high temperatures, so hot that it strips electrons from atoms. Charged ions in this superheated state are known as ionized gases. This glowing phenomenon is occasionally visible in the sky near the north and south poles, referred to as auroras or nebulae. Telescopes reveal that about 99% of the observable universe is composed of this ionized gas.

Plasma strongly interacts with electromagnetic waves. In preparation for long-duration human travel to the lunar surface, there are calls to establish a station, where Chandrayaan-3‘s plasma instrument could assess the potential risks to humans and their equipment from lunar plasma. This knowledge is crucial for understanding the safe passage of humans and instruments during their stay on the Moon.

In such a scenario, a human dwelling on the Moon demands an understanding of the risks posed by lunar plasma on Chandrayaan-3 and its instruments, as well as how to mitigate these risks. In the context of extended human sojourns, the potential use of Chandrayaan as a basis for journeys to other celestial bodies and the extent to which it safeguards humans and their equipment can be determined.

In this context, it can be ascertained whether a human could thrive on this planet for an extended period or not. The utility of Chandrayaan as a reference point for voyages to other planets can be determined. Whether it can serve as a stepping stone for other interplanetary missions or not can also be assessed.

5. Understanding Moonquakes: ILSA’s Role on Chandrayaan-3

Chandrayaan-3 is equipped with a special instrument called ILSA, short for Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity. ILSA will gather information about the ongoing vibrations or ‘moonquakes’ happening on the lunar surface. These vibrations reveal fascinating insights about the Moon’s internal structure and dynamics.

It is believed that the Moon is over a thousand times more stable than Earth. Studying moonquakes using ILSA may unveil the possibilities of life on the Moon after further analysis. One of ILSA’s objectives is to set up a Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) on the lunar surface. This setup aims to observe gravitational waves generated from phenomena such as black holes or neutron stars. This initiative intends to explore gravitational waves originating from the densest objects in the universe, enhancing our understanding of space-time and gravity.

Niyati Rao

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