Scientist throws light on Chandrayaan 2 mission

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 31 January 2019

Bhardwaj was speaking on several space missions of India. About the challenges faced in Chandrayaan 2, he said, “It is more difficult than Chandrayaan 1 as this time we are trying for landing on the moon.”

PUNE: With every space mission, India is moving a step ahead towards a closer vision of the universe. Also, with each mission, we face new technological challenges and to overcome them, emerging technologies play an important role in achieving the targeted missions, said Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) Director Anil Bhardwaj during the SciFest organised at National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on Monday.

Bhardwaj was speaking on several space missions of India. About the challenges faced in Chandrayaan 2, he said, “It is more difficult than Chandrayaan 1 as this time we are trying for landing on the moon.”

From Chandrayaan 1 to Chandrayaan 2 many new technologies have been developed in areas of science and communication, also issues like autonomy, propellant, less sunlight, cold temperatures have been focused upon to overcome these technological barriers. Hence, technology plays an important role in every progressive mission, he stated. “Through Chandrayaan 2 we are targeting to seek information on water, minerals, possibility of water deposits, sub-surfaces, information particularly at polar regions where no landing has been made so far,” he said,

Talking about Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Bhardwaj said, “Now we are working on how long we can sustain or survive in the mission. Initially, we had planned the mission for six months, but it has been four-and-half years till now and still it has continued, which means the technology used in the mission was efficient. Secondly, we are trying to look at if we can change the orbit or stay on the existing orbit on which currently the satellite is rotating. There are different sciences and technologies involved in this and we are experimenting with all,” said Bhardwaj.

“We are assuming there are human settlement possibilities on the moon, but since there is no atmosphere and mighty field, it is yet to be confirmed. We are trying to find cosmic rays, charged particles, whether solar winds are present, which support life on Earth. So if there is life on Mars, which means these aspects are present on Mars. Furthermore, how can we save life over there,” he said.

“There are cloud-like formations on the surface of Mars which are episodic. The study of the clouds, the physical process of formation of the clouds, whether formed due to carbon-dioxide or water is currently being studied. Other new findings are that there is existence of oxygen in Mars as it rises above 400 km,” said Bhardwaj. “We are working on what resources are available on Mars, so as to not many things are carried from th Earth and the resources available on Mars can be utilised only,” added Bhardwaj. 

During the question and answer session with the audience, Bhardwaj said India is doing a fine job with the resources and technology constraint. Also the US and other foreign countries are appreciating the efforts made by Indian space scientists and bureaus in launching satellites and work on space.

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