All planned scientific experiments scheduled to be undertaken by the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter are currently operating fine, according to Anil Bhardwaj, director of the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL). He also said that India’s second lunar mission has relayed ‘never seen before’, very high-resolution images of craters on the Moon’s surface.
Bhardwaj made the remarks while delivering a talk on ‘Indian Planetary Missions’ as part of the 58th foundation day celebrations of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune on Sunday.
“For the first time, we are getting to see such high-resolution images of the craters present on the lunar surface. Using these, we are now calculating the depth of these craters, some of which even run into a few hundred metres,” said Bhardwaj.
Explaining why it was crucial to study craters on the Moon, the PRL director said, “Crater counting is one of the ways of calculating the age of the lunar region that is under study. The Moon’s surface is dominated by craters.”
The team of scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also managed to learn about the interaction of solar winds with the Moon even as it revolves around Earth through this mission, he said.
On ISRO’s future missions, Bhardwaj said the calendar till 2023 was chalked out, with Aditya L1, the mission to Sun, expected to launch some time in 2020.
He said, “Apart from missions to Venus and a second mission to Mars — both are planned for launch around 2023 — we will also need to scale up and develop technologies that will be required for space missions beyond our solar system.”
Also present on the occasion was Shekhar Mande, director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, who apprised the audience about the various roles that science, technology and innovation has played in solving problems and transforming the lives of people.