UPSC PRELIMS 2019 : Women headed Chandrayaan-2 Mission

Women headed Chandrayaan-2 Mission

Topic : Women headed Chandrayaan-2 Mission

Topic in Syllabus: Science & Technology


Women headed Chandrayaan-2 Mission

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1, developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Ritu Kridhal and M Vanitha are leading as project and mission directors respectively for Chandrayaan-2 mission.



  • Quantify the water available on the moon’s surface.
  • Map its topography, to explore chemicals and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and Helium.
  • Study topmost part of the lunar atmosphere.



  • If successful, India will be the fourth country (After Russia, China, and the USA) to land a rover on the moon.
  • India will be the first country to land on the southern pole of the moon.
  • This would give ISRO opportunity to name that site on the moon.
  • Indigenous mission: 13 instruments from India, one instrument from US space agency, NASA.
  • Future Space Exploration: mission will also expand the country’s footprint in space as moon is the perfect test-bed for proving technologies required for future space exploration.


Significant Components of Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2 is ISRO’s upcoming Lander and Rover mission to Moon.-consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.



  • The Orbiter will 100 km away from the moon, which will observe lunar surface and relay communication between Earth and the Lander.
  • The orbiter is equipped with different kinds of camera to take create high-resolution three-dimensional maps of the surface, would remain in orbit for a year.


Vikram Lander– .

  • It is the first time that ISRO is attempting to soft-land a module in extra-terrestrial space.
  • The main challenge is in controlling its speed as it approaches the surface.
  • Once the Lander and the Rover, enter the Moon’s gravity, they would be in a state of free fall.
  • To enable a smooth landing, the speed of the Lander just ahead of touchdown should be 1 m/s (3.6 km/h) or less.
  • The Lander will mainly study the moon’s atmosphere and look out for seismic activity.


Pragyaan Rover

  • The 6-wheeled, AI Solar powered rover was designed, developed and build indigenously by ISRO.
  • The rover will be landed in be landed closer to the Moon’s equator to receive more sun light.
  • Its primary objective will be to study the composition of the surface near the lunar landing site, and determine its abundance of various elements.
  • Both the Lander and Rover are designed to work for only 14 days (1 lunar day).


Complexities involved in a moon landing

  • Trajectory accuracy: Ensuring trajectory accuracy while navigating 3.844 lakh km has its own challenges.
  • Communication hurdle: Owing to the large distance from Earth, radio signals, which need to be picked up, would be weak.
  • Lunar dust: Firing engines close to the lunar surface results in the backward flow of gases and dust, causing hindrance to deployment mechanism and damaging sensors.
  • Extreme temperatures: A lunar day or night lasts 14 earth days, resulting in extreme surface temperature.
  • Trans-lunar injection, capture:Series of engine burns to get close to the moon, intersection of probe and moon must be predicted in advance with accuracy.
  • Orbiting: The lumpy lunar gravity influences the orbit of the spacecraft.


Sample Question:

Which of the following statements is/are correct about Chandrayaan-2?

  1. It will includes a lunar orbiter, a lander and a lunar rover.
  2. The lander is developed with help of NASA.

Choose the Correct Answer

a). Only 1

b). Only 2

c). Both

d). None


Answer : a