India launches a missile towards an unexplored region of the Moon
India launched its rocket on Friday to land in an unexplored region of the moon. If all goes according to plan, the country will be the first to carry out a “soft landing” in a previously unreached area of the Moon’s land.
The BBC reports that the lunar surface is a treacherous terrain with large craters and steep slopes.
Some places do not receive sunlight, which leads to extremely low temperatures, It reaches -203 ° C, which makes it very difficult to operate exploration equipment. In this way, a soft landing means that the missile will not be destroyed.
India is seeking to explore the moon – with its mission called Chandrayaan-3 – because the first space flight of this project, which took place in 2008, detected the presence of water on the surface of the moon.
“We still need more details about where and how much water is there, and whether it’s all frozen,” Akash Sinha, a professor of space robotics at Shiv Nadar University near Delhi, told the BBC.
Exploring the surface of the moon’s polar regions, made up of rocks and soil, could lead to answers about the formation of the solar system.
Below, see the art the BBC made of what the trip to the moon would be like:
The country’s goal has become to explore the moon at the lowest possible cost. That’s because the second mission, which took place in 2019 and failed (the rocket exploded on landing), cost $140 million, while this morning’s cost was $80 million. The first, in 2009, was about US$79 million.
Former head of the Indian Space Research Organization K Sivan said this morning’s flight would be cheaper because the rocket must use the moon’s gravity to bring the spacecraft into lunar orbit. It is expected that the missile will take 29 days to reach its final destination.
In addition, another point that reduces the cost of the operation, according to the BBC, is that, unlike the previous mission, Chandrayaan-3 does not include a new orbital vehicle – a satellite that remains in orbit. This mission will include the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter to provide all communications between the lander, rover, and control room.
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