Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids

India’s ambitious mission to the moon Chandrayaan 2 has successfully launched from Earth. There is a lot riding on the 1000 crore mission. We bring you interesting facts that every kid should know!

By Ashwin Dewan

Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids

An artist's impression of the Chandrayaan-2's Orbiter-Lander-Rover orbiting over the lunar surface. Image courtesy: ISRO

Children are enthralled by anything that involves the outer space, the moon, the stars, clouds, rockets, spaceships and flying saucers. So, in some exciting news for little space enthusiasts, India’s second planned mission to the moon – Chandrayaan 2 was successfully launched on 22 July 2019. While the country awaits with bated breath for the soft landing of the spacecraft on the moon; the entire mission presents an ideal opportunity for parents to teach their kids about India’s remarkable initiative and also the mysteries and wonders of outer space.

Chandrayaan 2: Latest news and updates

3 December 2019: Chandrayaan 2's Vikram Lander that had lost contact with ISRO 2.1 km above the moon's surface has been found by NASA. And, the US space agency has credited a Chennai-based engineer,Shanmuga Subramanian, for the discovery.

Earlier this year, on 26 September, NASA had released a mosaic image of the site and had invited the public to compare it with images of the same area before the crash to find the signs of the lander. Shanmuga Subramanian was the first to come up with a positive identification.

8 September 2019: It was a case of so near yet so far for Chandrayaan 2. However, hope has again be re-ignited with news from ISRO that Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram Lander that had lost contact with the space agency 2.1 km above the moon’s surface, was not damaged despite a hard landing and is in a tilted position. The exact condition of the lander is not fully known and efforts to establish communication with the lander are currently being made.

6 September 2019: It began as a long night and we will definitely wake up to a beautiful morning when the sun rises again. Moon is only 2.1 kilometres away, isn't it? There are two ways to look at this - 1. So near yet so far, 2. 3.84 lakh done and only 2.1 km to go. When you look at the latter, life is indeed going to be filled with HOPE and inspiration. Chandrayaan-2 inspired a complete generation and that will remain the most incredible feat of this glorious mission. On that positive note, we conclude our Live and Exclusive Coverage. Hope you enjoyed our coverage. Do, sign up to be a part of more such Live and exclusive updates, expert articles, discussions, videos and a whole lot more. If you are a parent, you've got to be on ParentCircle.com. And yes, remember to love your child to the 'moon' and back. Till we meet again.

6 September 2019: Minutes before the landing ISRO lost all communication with Chandrayaan 2. This is what they tweeted: "This is Mission Control Centre. #VikramLander descent was as planned and normal performance was observed up to an altitude of 2.1 km. Subsequently, communication from Lander to the ground stations was lost. Data is being analysed."

6 September 2019: India holds its breath as Vikram lander begins its descent to soft land on the moon. Families across India are glued to their television sites and smartphones to catch the phenomenal landing. 

6 September 2019: Watch LIVE: Landing Of Chandrayaan-2 On Moon's Lunar Surface

In a great initiative by ISRO, the public can watch the landing live on the official website of ISRO, isro.gov.in, from its control room at the Satellite Control Centre (SCC) in Bengaluru.

The landing will be streamed on the YouTube Channel of Press Information Bureau of India. Watch it LIVE right here!

ISRO’s Twitter handle will be giving minute-by-minute updates!

4 September 2019: The ambitious Chandrayaan 2 mission has successfully completed all the orbit manoeuvres around the moon and is now ready to land close to the lunar south pole. In a tweet on its official page, ISRO confirmed that, “This morning the second and final de-orbiting manoeuvre of Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft was successfully carried out by the Indian Space Research Organisation.”

3 September 2019: The Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover, the two major components in the landing module are one step closer to making the much-awaited soft landing on the moon on 7 September 2019. A day earlier, the Vikram lander had successfully separated from the orbiter.

2 September 2019: After a successful fifth and the final orbit manoeuvre to refine its circular path around the moon, Vikram, the Chandrayaan 2 lander successfully separated from the orbiter. This was confirmed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) who tweeted about the developments.

28 August 2019: Don Thomas, a NASA Astronaut who has been on four space missions, and has clocked 1000 hours in space, is excited about India’s mission to the moon Chandrayaan 2. This is what he has to say:

“I am very excited about Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft landing on September 7. It would be the first spacecraft to ever land on the South Pole of the moon and that is of great interest to NASA because we think there is water and ice… frozen ice down at the South Pole. That is where NASA is hoping to send astronauts. And five years from now, we hope to land two astronauts on the South Pole. Chandrayaan 2 promises to be a great benefit, and is of great interest to NASA, and to scientists all over the world. I will be watching very carefully on September 7 when the lander lands there!”

27 August 2019: A terrain mapping camera onboard the Chandrayaan 2 has captured a series of images of impact craters on the surface of the moon. These impact craters are named after great scientists, physicists and astronomers such as Jackson, Mitra, Kirkwood, Mach, Korolev, Sommerfeld, Plaskett, Hermite and Rozhdestvenskiy.

21 August 2019: Chandrayaan 2 to land on moon on 7 September 2019

Chandrayaan 2, which successfully entered the moon’s orbit on 20 August 2019 is expected to soft land on the moon on 7 September 2019. The lander (Vikram) along with a rover (Pragyan) is expected to touch down at around 1:55 a.m. on the day.

Take a look below at the first image of the moon captured by Chandrayaan 2. 

Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids
Image courtesy: ISRO

20 August 2019: Chandrayaan 2 successfully enters moon's orbit

In great news for the whole country, Chandrayaan 2 has been successfully placed in the moon's orbit! The spacecraft is expected to touch down on the surface of the moon on 7 September 2019. ISRO confirmed that the orbit achieved was 114 km x 18072 km. This means that at this period, the moon was farthest from the earth. So, the earth's gravitational pull on it was minimum. This made it easy for it to slip into the gravitational influence of the satellite planet.

The next course of action in the mission involves separating the Vikram lander from the orbiter on 2 September as the lander would soft land on the moon.

20 August 2019: Chandrayaan 2 close to entering the moon’s orbit

On the 30th day of its momentous journey to the moon, Chandrayaan 2 is ready to fire its on-board motors to change its path. It is expected to enter the moon's orbit between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. This is a critical operation from the mission’s point of view. The approach velocity must be just right and the altitude over the moon precise for the operation to go as planned. If Chandrayaan 2 approaches the moon at a velocity higher than expected, there are chances of it bouncing off and getting lost in deep space. On the other hand, if the satellite approaches at a slow velocity, the gravity of the moon will pull Chandrayaan 2 and it might crash into the surface. India awaits!

6 August 2019: Status on spacecraft’s orbit

After being launched into space, it has been observed that the spacecraft’s orbit was increased five times between 23 July and 6 August. It was then given a boost in speed towards the direction of the moon.

26 July 2019: Second orbit raising manoeuvre

The second orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled in the early hours at about 1:00 a.m.

22 July 2019: Chandrayaan 2’s successful launch

After the launch was delayed due to a technical glitch, Chandrayaan 2 has successfully launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on 22 July 2019 at 2:43 p.m.

15 July 2019: India’s ambitious second moon mission set to take off

As the whole country watches with bated breath, Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the moon will begin its much-awaited journey to the moon. Its main objectives include:

  • Demonstrate the ability to make a soft landing on the lunar surface
  • Operate a robotic rover on the surface

Note: Due to a technical glitch, the mission is aborted just under an hours before the launch.

4 July 2019: Opportunity to watch launch online

In a unique initiative, the ISRO had made provisions for online registrations. Those lucky enough to get registered will be able to watch the launch of Chandrayaan 2 live.

1 July 2019: Getting ready for integration

Chandrayaan 2, India’s ambitious second mission to the moon, gets ready for integration with the GSLV launcher.

What is Chandrayaan 2?

Chandrayaan 2 is India’s second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan 1. If the launch goes as planned, India will be the first country ever to have ventured to the south pole of the moon! Now that would be incredible, wouldn’t it? 

Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids
Lift off image of Chandrayaan 2 courtesy ISRO

The launch took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on 22 July 2019 at 2:43 p.m. The initial launch date was 15 July 2019, but it was put on hold after a technical snag was detected in the launch vehicle system.

The latest moon mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), consist of features that are more advanced than those of the Chandrayaan 1 mission. The mission involves a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), a launch vehicle that will carry the payload. The payload, in turn, will include an orbiter, a lander and a rover with each one playing a specific and important role. Let's find out what they are!

  1. The orbiter is a box-shaped craft that communicates with the Indian Deep Space Network and the lander. The orbiter will carry the lander and the rover and will be placed in a circular lunar orbit, at an altitude of 100km above the lunar surface.
  2. The lander of Chandrayaan 2 communicates directly with the Indian Deep Space Network, the orbiter and the lander. The lander, also called Vikram, will carry a set of instruments to conduct scientific experiments on the moon.
  3. The rover communicates with the lander. It will be carried aboard the lander and deployed onto the lunar surface. It will also carry its own set of instruments.

Made indigenously in India, the satellite weighs a whopping 3.8 tons (3447.3 kilograms) and carries a suite of 14 scientific experiments (eight for the orbiter, four for the lander and two for the rover). The Vikram lander is expected to land near the south pole of the moon on 7 September 2019. Subsequently, the rover will roll out and carry out the intended experiments on the lunar surface.

Also read: How To Become An Astronaut

Lucky few to witness Chandrayaan 2 launch

In a wonderful and first-of-its-kind initiative, the ISRO made provision for online registrations. The registrations, which were on a first-come-first-serve basis selected numerous citizens to witness the epic event. The lucky ones will gather at the Rocket Space Theme Park in Sriharikota to watch the ISRO Chandrayaan 2 launch LIVE! An experience of a lifetime indeed!

Why is India's mission to the moon significant?

Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids
The success of Chandrayaan 2 mission is important for India

Chandrayaan 2 mission is of immense significance to the whole country. If the launch is successful, India will be the first country and this would be the first mission ever to have ventured to the south pole of the moon!

Further, a successful landing would make India the fourth country to soft-land on the moon, an incredible feat achieved only by the space agencies of the United States of America, Russia and China.

One of the focus of the mission is to help conduct a series of experiments. The mission is expected to provide a lot of new information about the moon and provide substantial proof of the existence of water ice. Other aspects like mapping specific parts of the lunar surface and the study of the atmosphere will also be carried out. 

10 cool facts every kid should know about Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids
India has high hopes pinned on the success of Chandrayaan 2

1. Chandrayaan 2, if successful, will be the first-ever mission that lands a lunar rover near the moon’s south pole.

2. With Chandryaan 2, India will become the fourth country to soft land on the lunar surface. The other three countries to have successfully navigated this mission are the United States of America, Russia and China.

3. The main scientific objective of Chandryaan 2 is to is to explore the south-polar region of the moon, and map the location and presence of abundant lunar water.

4. The biggest challenge would be the successful landing of Chandrayaan 2. In fact, the 15 minutes gap, when the lander separates and before it soft lands on the surface of the moon, are the crucial moments that will decide whether the mission is successful or not.

5. GSLV MK III is an extremely powerful launcher and being used for this important mission. It has been fully designed and manufactured in India.

6. The lunar orbiter will orbit the moon at an altitude of 100 kilometres. The orbiter’s structure was made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and was delivered to the Indian space agency in 2015.

7. The Chandrayaan 2 lunar rover has been named Pragyan. It weighs about 27 kilos and will operate on solar power. The rover, which operates on six wheels will traverse a distance of 300 to 400m on the lunar surface.

8. The life of the rover is expected to be about approximately 14 Earth days (1 lunar day) but it will not travel more than half a kilometre on the surface of the moon. It will move at the rate of 1 cm per second.

9. The Chandrayaan 2 lunar lander has been named Vikram. The Vikram lander will detach from the orbiter and descend to a lunar orbit of 30 km.

10. Chandrayaan 2 mission was signed over a decade ago, between the Russian Federal Agency (Roscosmos) and ISRO. However, as a result of the Fobos-Grunt mission to Mars, Roscosmos withdrew from the project as they had used identical technical schematics in other lunar projects as well.

Chandrayaan 2: Mission To Moon Facts For Kids

Having currently tasted success on a large scale with the successful launch of 104 satellites at one go, the success of this moon mission will be a huge step for the Indian space agency. The entire mission will succeed in expanding the country’s space footprint. Good luck India!

About the author:

Written by Ashwin Dewan on 11 July 2019.

Also read: An Interview With Rakesh Sharma, The First Indian Astronaut

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