India has successfully started Chandrayaan 3 mission. It has been created by priorly completing the Chandrayaan 1 & 2 mission. If you want to know more about its mission, the purpose, the launching date, and the hardworking team behind it. Then let us keep hovering over the following parts!

India Launches Chandrayaan 3 Mission, Aims to Become Fourth Nation on the Moon

The satellite Chandrayaan-3 was launched today (July 14) at 5:05 a.m. EDT (09:05 GMT; 2:35 p.m. local time in Sriharikota) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

The rocket carried the unmanned lander-rover pair. And the aspirations of the most populous country in the world as it shot into the sky. India has started its most ambitious mission to the moon yet.

Following a planned separation from the LVM3 around 16 minutes after launch, Chandrayaan-3 began its fuel-effective voyage to the moon. It will be entering orbit around the Earth. India will soon join the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China as the fourth nation to set foot on the moon. Assuming the remainder of the mission goes according to plan.

If you are further interested in knowing the second attempt of India at a cost-effective lunar landing, investing around 6 billion rupees ($73 million), then continue reading!

India is Aiming for Low-Cost Space Exploration Milestone

The ambitious indigenous mission costs about 6 billion rupees ($73 million). In an era when many countries compete to establish a long-term presence on the moon. Its achievement would assist India’s growing low-cost space exploration ambitions.

ISRO, the country’s premier space agency, professes to be confident of success this time, said:

With today’s launch, India began its second attempt at a soft lunar landing, nearly four years after Chandrayaan-2’s lander-rover combo crashed into the moon due to a software error.

Chandrayaan 3 mission
Chandrayaan 3 launched atop an LVM3 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on July 14 at 5:05 a.m. EDT (0905 GMT). (Image Credit: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO))

This assurance will be tested during the upcoming month as the spacecraft’s thrusters are repeatedly fired to extend its egg-shaped orbit of the Earth. And increase its speed in preparation for being launched into the moon’s orbit. Once there, careful maneuvers are required to securely position the lander-rover pair close to the moon’s south pole. Which is an area that India hopes to be the first to explore.

Now you are wondering about the precise landing capability near the projected landing region for Russia’s Luna 25 spacecraft, so let’s find out more about it!

India’s Chandrayaan-3 Mission Aims for Precision Lunar Landing at the South Pole

Arun Sinha, a former senior scientist at ISRO, told Space.com, said:

“This mission is most significant in terms of ultimate precise landing capability of [the] Chandrayaan-3 lander on the specified lunar surface”

Chandrayaan 3
The Chandrayaan-3 lander is seen before being encapsulated in its payload fairing. (Image credit: ISRO)

The landing zone for the mission measures 2.5 miles by 1.5 miles (4 by 2.5 kilometers). And it is located at 69.367621 south latitude and 32.348126 east longitude. It is also near the projected landing region for Russia’s Luna 25 spacecraft, slated to launch in August.

The lunar south pole, a hotspot for space research, is believed to contain large amounts of water ice that might be harvested for rocket fuel. A tantalizing location for moon outposts would be near the south pole because lunar water ice would also be necessary for life support.

Moreover, the challenges that have been faced on the south pole were challenging; let’s know more about these difficulties!

Chandrayaan 3 Mission & Overcoming Challenges of the South Pole Landing

Chandrayaan-3’s arrival, anticipated for August 23 or 24, would be historic; earlier missions that succeeded landed near the moon’s equator, while those that failed aimed to reach the south pole.

The south pole regions receive sunlight at low angles, and the lengthy shadows there make safe landing difficult. In contrast to more approachable equatorial areas, where sunlight is abundant for solar-powered spacecraft, the south polar regions have long shadows.

In addition, the legs on the lander, named Vikram (Sanskrit for “valor”), have been strengthened to help it survive a slightly high landing speed. And the area where the spacecraft can touch down has also been significantly widened to allow some room for error and ultimately increase chances of success, ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said last week during a press briefing.

Moon is one of the go-to points for scientific discoveries, and the Pragyan rover is all set for it! Let’s know how.

Pragyan Rover Set to Explore Lunar Surface, Extending Possibilities for Scientific Discoveries

Providing the landing is successful, a six-wheeled rover called Pragyan (Sanskrit for “wisdom”) will disembark from Vikram and move onto the lunar surface under the guidance of cameras. Its arsenal includes a spectrometer for examining lunar rocks and dirt and a laser-induced spectroscope for zapping targets and determining their chemical makeup.

The lander and the rover are planned to run for one lunar day (about two weeks on Earth), from the moon’s rising to set.

While the solar-powered robotic duo is not expected to survive a frigid night on the moon, “there are faint chances of extra-efficient battery charge,” Sinha told Space.com. “If this is good, another 14 [Earth] days might be available.”

The following part of the blog is solely based upon the frequently asked questions about this mission and its purposes!

What is the Aim Behind Chandrayaan 3 Mission?

Chandrayaan-3, the current mission, is primarily an opportunity to try again after the previous endeavor of landing a robotic spacecraft on the moon’s surface resulted in a crash and a crater almost four years ago. This undertaking comes when there is a revived enthusiasm for lunar exploration.

Potential Reaching Time & Point of Chandrayaan 3:

The LVM3 M4 vehicle effectively propelled Chandrayaan-3 into its designated orbit. The spacecraft is projected to require approximately a month to travel from Earth to the moon, with an anticipated landing scheduled for August 23.

Why the Chandrayaan has been only Sent to Moon?

Following Chandrayaan-2, this mission aims to showcase a range of capabilities, including achieving lunar orbit, executing a gentle landing on the moon’s surface with a lander, and deploying a rover from the lander to investigate the lunar terrain.

More About Team & Project Director Details of Chandrayaan 3 Mission:

Veeramuthuvel, the project director of Chandrayaan 3, expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders who played a part in the mission’s success during the event. Veeramuthuvel also mentioned that the eagerly anticipated soft-landing phase marks the commencement of our voyage to the moon. The spacecraft’s progress will be closely monitored from Bengaluru.

Why are Chnadrayaan Missions Happening? Let’s Find Out the Core Purpose!

Chandra has been specifically engineered to detect X-rays emitted by regions in the universe with high energy, including remnants of stellar explosions. Its exceptional sensitivity enables comprehensive black holes, supernovas, and dark matter investigations. Chandra has significantly advanced our comprehension of the universe’s origin, evolution, and ultimate fate through these studies.

Were Chandrayaan 1 and 2 Successful?

The estimated orbital period was approximately 11 hours. Following the successful execution of this mission. India achieved the distinction of becoming the fifth nation to place a vehicle in lunar orbit. The initial Lunar Orbit Reduction Manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 took place on November 9, 2008, at 14:33 UTC.

The second mission, Chandrayaan-2, commenced its journey on July 22, 2019, and successfully entered lunar orbit on August 20, 2019. On September 2, 2019, the Vikram Lander was detached. While in a lunar polar orbit approximately 100 kilometers above the moon’s surface.

On August 21, Roscosmos which is Russia’s space agency, estimated the impact location of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. On August 22, the LRO Camera and Mission Operations teams sent commands to the LRO spacecraft to capture images of the site. They started this sequence at 2:15 p.m. EDT on August 24 and finished around 6:12 p.m. EDT.

What is the purpose of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter?
This GIF alternates between LRO views from June 27, 2020, and Aug. 24, 2023 – before and after the appearance of a new impact crater likely from Russia’s Luna 25 mission. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

Comparing images taken before and after, the LROC team found a small new crater. Therefore, the most recent image of the area before the impact was from June 2022.

We will go through some of the best, and latest updated data on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. So, let’s uncover the valuable knowledge that you don’t want to miss out.

The Purposes of Reconnaissance Orbiter:

The LROC has two main jobs:

Checking Landing Sites: LROC takes pictures to make sure it’s safe for spacecraft to land on the Moon, especially near the poles.

Watching the Poles: It also takes pictures of the Moon’s polar areas to see which parts are always dark and which always have sunlight.

Besides these two main tasks, LROC does six other important things:

Maps Polar Mountains: It carefully maps places on the Moon’s poles that always get sunlight.

High-Res Maps: It takes lots of pictures of potential landing spots and other places to create detailed maps.

Resource Check: It uses different colors of light to study what the Moon is made of, especially a mineral called ilmenite.

Big Picture Map: It makes a large map of the Moon with lots of details that are useful for scientists.

Close-Up Pictures: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photos are so amazing. The pictures that it clicked includes the close ups of different parts of the Moon’s surface to understand how they are made.

Impact History: It looks at the Moon’s surface to count how many times it has been hit by small rocks since 1971-1972. This helps us know if it’s safe for future missions.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Apollo 11 landing sites:

Some of the most famous photos from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are of the six Apollo landing sites. This picture shows the Taurus-Littrow valley.

The Detailed Over view of the Moon Images:

The two narrow-angle cameras take very close pictures of the Moon. They have covered each small square in the picture covering an area of about 0.5 meters (1.6 feet). They capture images in a 5-kilometer-wide area.

The wide-angle camera of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter provides images at a lower level of detail. It includes the each small square covering 100 meters (328 feet). However, it can capture a much wider area, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) across. Besides this, the wide-angle camera also looks at the Moon in seven different colors. It will assists us to find out where important minerals like ilmenite, which contains iron, titanium, and oxygen, are found.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter img 1
Image of the crater Gerasimovich D, located on the far side of the Moon, as seen (a) at optical wavelengths by the LRO wide-angle camera, and (b) at radar wavelengths by Mini-RF on LRO. Due to its sensitivity to rough surfaces, radar is able to highlight a previously unrecognized impact melt flow (indicated by an arrow).

How Lunar Reconnaissance mission will pave a way to further mission?

A NASA mission to map the lunar surface in unprecedented detail and make other observations from orbit. Besides its accomplishments, LRO has photographed all of the Apollo landing sites. It is showing the abandoned lunar modules and the paths the astronauts created during their expeditions. Therefore, LRO’s images may be used to find landing sites for future lunar missions.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter img 2
Oblique LROC NAC view of lunar pits with layered walls found in (a) Mare Tranquillitatis and (b) Mare Ingenii. (c, d) Layered boulders found on the lunar surface within Aristarchus crater. Scale bars in all cases have been estimated from pixel resolution of the NAC images. NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University, modified by K.H. Joy

What is the Lunar Reconnaissance mission, and spacecraft design?

  • Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER)
  • Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE)
  • Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP)
  • A Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND)
  • The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA)
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC)
  • Mini-RF Miniature Radio Frequency Radar

What is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter launch date?

According to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Wikipedia details.  LRO was launched on the June 18, 2009, as a joint launch with the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission.

Now, we will be answering some of the frequently asked queries to have a better over view of this mission, and its purposes!

What is the purpose of the Reconnaissance Orbiter?

LRO’s main job was to make a detailed 3D map of the Moon’s surface from a polar orbit. Furthermore, this map helps find safe landing spots, valuable resources, and study radiation. It also tests new tech for future lunar missions, both robotic and human.

Is the Reconnaissance Orbiter still alive?

The LRO is a NASA spacecraft circling the Moon in a unique orbit. Moreover, it is there to make a 3D map of the Moon’s surface, and it’s still doing this job.

What is the current lunar orbiter?

Lunar orbiting spacecraft:

Name: Lunar

Orbiter: Trailblazer

Country/ Organization Type: USA

What did the Reconnaissance Orbiter discover?

We once thought lunar volcanoes stopped erupting a billion years ago. But pictures from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) now showing us something different. The patches of recent basaltic deposits, possibly from eruptions in the past 100 million years.

How far is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from the Moon?

LRO lives in a circular orbit, roughly 31 miles (50 kilometers) above the lunar surface, according to NASA.

How many rockets land on moon?

There have been 14 successful moon landings. China did 2 (2013 and 2019), the United States did 5, and the Soviet Union did 7. Besides this, all the US and Soviet landings were in the 1960s and 1970s.

What has the Reconnaissance Orbiter mission sent back to Earth?

The mission is all about looking at the Moon’s poles to find water or ice. The LRO is also checking for water ice in dark craters near the poles. In 2009, another spacecraft flying with LRO found water. They have observed it when a rocket stage was purposely crashed into the Moon’s south pole.

For a long time, humans have thought about the potential existence of moon life, and they also thought of various creatures.

In this blog, we will provide brief answers to ideas regarding life on the moon. That was held in the 17th, 19th, and 20th centuries. By exploring these concepts, we will also gain valuable insights into scientific theories, and the discoveries by astronomers. Which will further assist us in our evolving understanding of the universe.

What are the Science Fiction Theories in Exploring Moon Life?

As telescopes and other advanced techniques for modeling the moon’s gravity and atmosphere became more

First Men in the Moon
An example of the intelligent insect creatures H.G. Wells described as living inside the moon. As more advanced tools for observing the moon showed its surface to be uninhabited, imagination shifted toward the idea that their might be creatures inside the Moon. The First Men in the Moon, 1901.

powerful. Supporting the notion of the moon as an Earth-like place became increasingly challenging. Despite outlining all the reasons that make life on the moon improbable. A 1915 astronomy textbook acknowledges:

“Even with all this, still life in some weird form may exist on the Moon.”

These ideas about peculiar forms of moon life also found their way into science fiction.

One such science fiction work, is H.G. Wells’ 1901 novel “The First Men in the Moon,”. He introduced a peculiar form of life on the moon’s surface. The story revolves around Mr. Bedford, a London businessman, and Mr. Cavor. He was an inventor who created a substance called cavorite, which negates gravity.

Persuaded by Cavor, Bedford embarks on a journey to the moon using this cavorite. Upon arrival, they encounter the Selenites, insectoid moon natives dwelling within the moon. Both men get capture by the Selenites but manage to escape. Although evidence had suggested a moon landscape, people remained intrigued by the impressive stories of its life that could exist beneath the moon’s surface.

What are the 20th Century’s Perspectives on Life on Moon & Extraterrestrial Competency?

In the 20th century, the Apollo missions brought the possibility of moon travel into reality, which is helping scientists to explore potential forms of life that might exist on the moon.

  • When training Apollo astronauts for encounters on the moon, Sagan, alongside other scientists.
  • Science fiction author Isaac Asimov, developed a curriculum to educate them on the possibilities of lunar organic materials. Their work also contributed to shaping procedures for quarantining returning astronauts, considering the potential effects of organic material and microorganisms from the moon.
  • Despite scientific advancements and the journey towards landing humans on the moon, imaginative ideas about exotic intelligent life on the moon’s surface continued to thrive in popular culture.
  • Even the long-running Dick Tracy comic strip, known for its tough detective, delved into moon life and the civilizations in the 1960s.

Does Life Exist on the Moon? Let’s Find out Through the Lens of Science!

Dick Tracy’s adventure to the moon revealed an advanced civilization and introduced the character of the Moon Maid, who acted as a liaison between Earth and the moon. While such stories captivated imaginations, the focus gradually shifted back to terrestrial crime-fighting as the real-world moon landing approached. With subsequent space exploration offering a deeper understanding of actual planetary conditions, the notion of intelligent life within our solar system became less tenable.

Previously believed to be inhospitable and lacking life, the Moon is now considered a potential habitat for lifeforms. The upcoming NASA Artemis 3 moon mission, set to launch in late 2025, aims to investigate whether microorganisms, which likely hitchhiked from Earth on previous space flights, might have survived in the extremely cold and permanently shadowed craters of the moon’s south pole. Space.com‘s report suggests that this mission could provide valuable insights into the existence of such life on the Moon.

Can Moon Life Originate from Earth? A Research Made in Artemis 3 Mission:

The research conducted by Saxena and his team was presented during a workshop focused on identifying potential landing sites for the Artemis 3 mission. NASA has already pinpointed 13 candidate regions near the Moon’s south pole.  Where the mission’s crew will make the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972. Scientists speculate that organic molecules, if present on the Moon, could have been transported there through “Earth meteorites.” Additionally, there is a possibility that resilient microbes originating from Earth, capable of enduring harsh conditions, may have traveled to the Moon aboard a lander.

Moon's south pole
Artemis astronauts explore a site near the Moon’s south pole. Image Credit: NASA

One intriguing aspect is the lack of strict requirements concerning forward contamination, meaning there will soon be 50 years of history with human objects on the Moon’s surface. Heather Graham, an organic geochemist at NASA Goddard, considers humans the most likely carriers of microbes, given the extensive data on our history of exploration and the potential for impacts from terrestrial sources. This exciting endeavor offers the promise of unraveling new aspects of moon life and deepening our understanding of the Moon’s potential as a habitat.

Moon Life
NASA has identified 13 candidate landing regions for the Artemis 3 mission. Image Credit: NASA

What is the Distance of the Moon from our Earth? Let’s Have Some Details Too!

The moon is, on average, about 238,860 miles (382,500 km) away from Earth. Which is roughly equivalent to 30 Earth diameters.

In terms of size, the moon’s diameter is approximately one-fourth that of Earth. And its surface area covers about 1/16th of Earth’s total surface area. As for mass, the moon weighs around 1.2% of Earth’s mass.

The point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth, we call it perigee. And during this time, the moon is approximately 224,000 miles (360,000 km) away from us.

The Concept of “Supermoon”

This occurrence is often referred to as a “Supermoon” because the moon appears about 14% larger. And approximately 30% brighter in the sky than at its furthest point, known as apogee or a “micro moon.”

How Can You Enhance Your Sky-watching Adventures to Observe the Moon?

For those interested in exploring the moon further, there are opportunities for sky-watching ventures. These include to observe its moon seas, mountainous terrain, and numerous craters. Guides are available for observing the Apollo landing sites, and equipment. It involves telescopes, binoculars, cameras, and lenses. They can enhance the experience of observing and capturing the moon’s beauty during sky-watching adventures.

NASA has chosen Blue Origin from Kent, Washington to create a human landing system for their Artemis V mission to the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission is going to explore more of the Moon than ever before! This will help us discover new things about the Moon and prepare for future missions to Mars.

What role will Blue Origin play in NASA’s Artemis V mission to the Moon and the development of a human landing system?

For repeated astronaut trips to the lunar surface, including docking with Gateway, a space station where crew transfers take place in lunar orbit, Blue Origin will design, develop, test, and certify its Blue Moon lander to meet NASA’s requirements for human landing systems. The contract involves creating and testing a spacecraft for a trip to the moon. This will include a test run without any people on board, followed by a trip with a crew in 2029. The contract is worth $3.4 billion.

Bill Nelson:

“Today we are excited to announce Blue Origin will build a human landing system as NASA’s second provider to deliver Artemis astronauts to the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “We are in a golden age of human spaceflight, which is made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships. Together, we are making an investment in the infrastructure that will pave the way to land the first astronauts on Mars.”

Rocket and Spacecraft involved in the mission:

NASA’s Artemis V mission will send four astronauts to orbit the moon using the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. After Orion docks with Gateway, two astronauts will take a weeklong trip to the Moon’s South Pole region using Blue Origin’s human landing system. They will conduct science and exploration activities during their time there. Artemis V is a mission that will help NASA explore the moon and prepare for future missions to Mars. It will show how we can explore the moon and set up systems to support more missions in the future.

What are the benefits of involving more partners in NASA’s Artemis program to land humans on the Moon?

NASA is looking for more partners to help them land humans on the Moon as part of their Artemis program. This will make things more competitive and save money for taxpayers. It will also mean more trips to the Moon and more investment in the lunar economy. All of this will help NASA get ready for sending astronauts to Mars in the future.

What is NASA’s strategy for expanding access to space and encouraging innovation in human landing system designs?

The agency hired SpaceX to create a system for humans to land on the moon for the Artemis III mission. The agency instructed SpaceX to update its design to meet its standards for sustainable exploration and to showcase the lander during Artemis IV under the contract. NASA has made a deal with Blue Origin to create a lander meeting certain Artemis V mission requirements. This lander will be able to carry more crew members, stay on the Moon for long periods of time, and transport more materials. This means that there will be more companies available to compete for future opportunities to help NASA with their missions to the Moon.

NASA will contribute to expanding access to space for the benefit of all by encouraging businesses to develop cutting-edge human landing system concepts and designs. This will help industries come up with better ideas and designs for landing systems.

Lisa Watson-Morgan:

“Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with different approaches to how they meet NASA’s mission needs, provides more robustness and ensures a regular cadence of Moon landings,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager of, the Human Landing System Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “This competitive approach drives innovation, brings down costs, and invests in commercial capabilities to grow the business opportunities that can serve other customers and foster a lunar economy.”

What is Appendix P?

NASA released a request called Appendix P in September 2022. This is part of their work to create new and better ways to explore space. They’re looking for partners to help them with this project.

A brief introduction to the program:

NASA is planning to send astronauts to the Moon through a program called Artemis. This mission is significant because it will include the first woman and the first person of color to explore the Moon. The goal of the mission is to make scientific discoveries, reap economic benefits, and establish a base for future missions to Mars. NASA has a solid plan for exploring deep space. They’re using five important things to make it happen: the SLS rocket, Orion, Gateway, advanced spacesuits, and human landing systems.

The Moon has always been a source of fascination for humanity, inspiring myths and legends across different cultures. Howeverour understanding of the Moon has grown in the last century in the last century thanks to space agencies’ efforts worldwide. India has also stepped forward to uncover the mysteries and disclose the myths about the moon. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched a series of missions called Chandrayaan to the Moon to learn more about its composition, structure, and history. Chandrayaan-1 launched in 2008 and discovered water on the Moon. ISRO launched Chandrayaan-2, a moon landing project, in 2019. Despite the lander’s crash, the orbiter continues to collect data. ISRO has prepared its next attempt Chandrayaan-3 to land a spacecraft on the moon for flight. ISRO will launch the spacecraft in June 2023.

All these projects highlight India’s expanding capacity for space research and its dedication to expanding humanity’s knowledge of space and expanding humanity’s place in it.

Now, we will discuss the Chandrayaan missions launched from India, which have significantly advanced our understanding of the nearest celestial neighbors.

Let’s start with,

Chandrayaan-1: The First Indian Lunar Space Probe

On October 22, 2008, India’s national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), officially started its Chandrayaan Missions with Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar space probe. The scientists designed the mission to conduct remote sensing studies of the Moon from lunar orbit. It collected data on the lunar surface’s mineralogy and elemental composition. Built at only Rs. 386 crores ($76 million), within three years, it was a low-cost spacecraft. Chandrayaan-1 carried a suite of scientific instruments from India, the United States, and the European Space Agency (ESA), making it a truly international effort.

Chandrayaan Missions: Chandrayaan 1
Image Credit: ISRO

Now, you may need to know,

What were the mission objectives and instrumentation?

Chandrayaan-1 had several objectives, including mapping the Moon in infrared, visible, and X-ray light and prospecting for various elements, minerals, and ice. Some of the particular instruments on board the spacecraft included:

  • To create a three-dimensional atlas of the lunar surface, which would help study the distribution of elements and minerals.
  • Determining the extent and depth of water-ice deposits on the lunar surface is essential for future human settlements.
  • Studying the moon’s mineral composition and geology would help us understand its formation and evolution.
  • To study the moon’s atmosphere, particularly the presence of helium-3, a rare isotope that could be used as a fuel in nuclear fusion.
  • To test new technologies for future space missions. Such as a new imaging spectrometer and a miniaturized synthetic aperture radar.

On the whole,

Is Chandrayaan-1 a success or failure?

The mission started on Oct. 22, 2008, and ended on Aug. 28, 2009. The scientists planned to leave the spacecraft in space for about two years.  But, sadly couldn’t keep exploring due to technical issues. During its operational lifetime of approximately ten months, Chandrayaan-1 made several significant discoveries, including detecting water on the Moon’s surface and mapping various elements and minerals on the lunar surface. However, the mission ended abruptly in 2009 when radio contact was lost with the spacecraft.

ISRO says that this spacecraft has almost all its objectives accomplished by then. So instead of any emergency crash, it is better to dismantle it. Chandrayaan-1 did not crash. But the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)  intentionally ended its mission. The spacecraft was in a polar orbit around the Moon. It had completed more than 3,400 orbits and collected a wealth of scientific data. However, communication with the spacecraft was lost and attempts to re-establish contact failed. Intovoid any potential damage or interference with future lunar missions, ISRO intentionally crashed the spacecraft into the lunar surface. The exact location of the impact is unknown. But scientists believe that it is in the Moon’s south pole region.

Later on, ISRO succeeded in building up another spacecraft,

Chandrayaan-2: India’s Ambitious Lunar Lander Mission

One of the Chandrayaan Missions, Chandrayaan-2, also known as 44441, was a landmark Indian lunar mission launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on July 22, 2019. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-MkIII) carried out the mission. It aimed to explore the uncharted lunar south pole region. With a total mass of 3850 kg and a nominal power of 1000 W, the Chandrayaan-2 mission lasted almost a month, from its launch date until its unfortunate end on August 20, 2019. The mission was a significant milestone in India’s space exploration program and had several key objectives, including mapping the lunar surface, studying the composition of the Moon’s atmosphere, and searching for evidence of water on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan Missions: Chandrayaan 2
Image Credit: ISRO

Let’s take a closer look on,

What were the mission objectives and instrumentation?

Chandrayaan-2 had several objectives, including conducting high-resolution remote sensing of the lunar surface, studying the Moon’s water ice deposits, and characterizing the Moon’s tenuous atmosphere. Some of the special instruments on board the spacecraft included:

  • The mission aimed to study the lunar surface’s topography, mineralogy, and geology to understand its origin and evolution.
  • Chandrayaan-2 aimed to detect and map the distribution of water ice on the Moon’s surface, which could be a potential resource for future space exploration.
  • The mission aimed to study the Moon’s tenuous atmosphere and understand its composition and dynamics.
  • Chandrayaan-2 also aimed to demonstrate India’s capabilities in soft landing on the lunar surface and rover mobility on the Moon.

Are you wondering,

How did Chandrayaan-2 fail?

The Chandrayaan-2 mission, unfortunately, met an untimely end when communication was lost during the lander descent at an altitude of about 2.1 km. Despite crashing on the lunar surface at 70.881 S, 22.784 E, the lander appeared to remain in one piece. But all communications and operations were impossible. The rover, which was supposed to be deployed shortly after landing, needed help to complete its mission. 

Although the lander and rover portions of the mission were planned for only 14-15 days, the orbiter continues to operate and gather valuable data about the Moon. Despite the challenges faced during the mission, Chandrayaan-2 was a significant achievement for India’s space exploration program. It contributed to our understanding of the Moon’s composition and the potential for future human exploration. The lessons learned from this mission will undoubtedly inform future lunar missions and continue to advance the field of planetary science.

Last but not least, 

Chandrayaan-3: India’s Next Lunar Mission:

After the success of Chandrayaan-1 and the ambitious Chandrayaan-2 mission failure, India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), is not stopping its Chandrayaan Missions. Chandrayaan-3, also known as Chandrayaan3, is the upcoming lunar mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Scientists have designed it to pick up where the Chandrayaan-2 mission left off. The primary objective of this mission is to further explore and study the Moon’s surface, with a specific focus on the south polar region. 

The mission will be launched using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-MkIII) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. With a mass of 1752 kg and a nominal power of 738 W, Chandrayaan-3 is expected to be launched in June 2023. The scientists originally planned to launch the mission in 2020. But has been delayed due to technical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what we know so far about Chandrayaan-3.

Chandrayaan Missions: Chandrayaan 3
Image Credit: ISRO

Now let us take a closer look on,

What is the mission design?

Chandrayaan 3 is a lunar mission scheduled to launch in 2023 from Sriharikota, India, using a GSLV Mark 3 heavy-lift launch vehicle. After entering an elliptic parking orbit, the propulsion module will bring the lander/rover into a 100 km circular polar lunar orbit. Then it will separate from it. The lander will then touch down with the rover in the Moon’s south polar region, near 69.37 S, 32.35 E. 

The touchdown velocity will be less than 2 m/s vertical and 0.5 m/s horizontal to ensure a safe landing. The propulsion module/communications relay satellite will remain in lunar orbit to enable communications with Earth, with Chandrayaan 2 serving as a backup relay. The lander and rover are designed to operate for one lunar daylight period, which is about 14 Earth days. This mission will enable further exploration of the lunar surface and allow for studying the Moon’s geology and resources.

Moreover, 

What scientific instruments are onboard Chandrayaan 3?

Chandrayaan-3, the third lunar mission by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will consist of a propulsion module, a lander, and a rover. The propulsion module generates 758 W power and carries the lander and rover to the moon. The lander has various sensors to ensure a safe touchdown, and the rover is equipped with navigation cameras and a solar panel that generates 50 W power. 

The lander will carry four scientific instruments: Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE), the Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA), the Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA), and a passive laser retroreflector array provided by NASA. The rover will carry two instruments to study the local surface elemental composition. These include an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS).

The propulsion module/orbiter will carry the Spectropolarimetry of the Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) experiment to study Earth from lunar orbit. It will launch in June 2023, using the GSLV-MkIII launch vehicle from Sriharikota, India.

Lastly,

What are the objectives of Chandrayaan-3?

The objectives of this Chandrayaan Mission are similar to that of its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2. The mission aims to conduct a soft landing on the lunar surface and deploy a rover to explore the surface in greater detail. The primary scientific goals of the mission are:

  • To study the composition of the lunar surface: Chandrayaan-3 will carry scientific instruments to study the lunar surface’s mineralogy, elemental composition, and water content. This data will help scientists understand the Moon’s formation and evolution better.
  • To study the lunar environment: The mission will also study the lunar environment. It includes the Moon’s tenuous atmosphere, magnetic field, and radiation environment. This data will help scientists understand the challenges faced by future human missions to the Moon.
  • To explore the South Pole-Aitken Basin: The landing site for Chandrayaan-3 is expected to be near the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken Basin. This basin is particularly interesting to scientists because it is the largest and oldest impact basin on the Moon. Studying the basin’s composition and structure could shed light on the early history of the Moon and the solar system.

What are India’s expectations with Chandrayaan Missions?

India is not anywhere close to stopping the progress of uncovering the mysteries of the moon. Regardless of the Chandrayaan-2 failure, India heads up to discover more of the moon’s surface and neighboring celestial stars. India is now looking at its masterpiece with fixed eyes to accomplish the objectives of Chandrayaan-2.

Published by: Sky Headlines

China aims to explore the south pole of the moon in 2026. To begin exploring the Moon’s south pole, China accelerated its progress toward designing a new moon rover. In the Chang’e-7 expedition, the lunar rover will target the moon’s south pole and far side. Before China’s Chang’e-7 expedition, Yutu 2 robot was also set off for exploring the lunar far side in 2019. In addition to a new moon rover, Chang’e 7 will consist of an orbiter, a lander, and a small, flying detector that can reach shaded areas in craters to look for water ice deposits.

The spacecraft, like Yutu 2, will have a panoramic webcam and a surface radar, however, it will also have a magnetic sensor and a raman spectrometer instead of the visible and infrared spectrometer and the energetic neutral atom analyzer provided by Sweden for Yutu 2’s mission.

What are the principal goals of the moon rover?

China’s Chang’e 7 mission’s scientific goal is to research the moon. The rover will be exploring and investigating the moon’s surface environment and water ice in its soil. It will help the researchers in the deep investigation and study of the Moon’s morphology, structure, and formation. To explore and research the Moon’s internal structure, gravitational pull, and thermodynamic properties. The overall investigation and study of the surface environment of the Moon’s south pole. Examination and investigation of the Earth’s magnetic field direction and plasmasphere from the moon.

What does Tang Yuhua say about this mission?

Deputy Chief Designer of Chang’e 7 and the moon rover “Tang Yuhua”, of the Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center of China, told CCTV. The rover will also be more independent.

“The rover of the Chang’e 7 is slightly larger than that of the Chang’e 4 in scale. It is designed to carry different instruments, and is of roughly the same structure,”

“It’s more intelligent. The original rover had more ground intervention, and now the path planning will be more autonomous,” Tang said.

What is China planning after Chang’e 7 launch?

China will attempt to use its Chang’e 6 mission to gather samples from the far side of the moon’s South Pole-Aitken Basin before Chang’e 7 launch. The 2020 Chang’e 5 mission was a success. The moon rover collected samples from the lunar near side and returned them to Earth using the spacecraft initially as a backup. After that, Chang’e 8 will be launched in 2028 and will test 3D printing and local resource utilization technologies. The goal of that mission is to lay the groundwork for the 2030s International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) project.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

NASA’s James Webb Saturn pictures have been revealed on June 25, 2023. It has captured the famed ringed world Saturn for its first near-infrared observations of the planet. The initial imagery from Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) is already fascinating to researchers.

 

What has been Revealed in the James Webb Saturn Photos?

The image shows Saturn as dark as the methane gas nearly absorbs all sunlight. NASA notes that the ring is maintaining its brightness. In contrast to Saturn, it gives the planet an “unusual appearance.”

James Webb Saturn
Image of Saturn and some of its moons, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam instrument on June 25, 2023. In this monochrome image, NIRCam filter F323N (3.23 microns) was color mapped with an orange hue. Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, M. Tiscareno (SETI Institute), M. Hedman (University of Idaho), M. El Moutamid (Cornell University), M. Showalter (SETI Institute), L. Fletcher (University of Leicester), H. Hammel (AURA); image processing by J. DePasquale (STScI)

If we look deeper into the images of James Webb Saturn 2023. Then, on the left side, you can spot Saturn’s moons:

  • Dione
  • Enceladus
  • Tethys

Meanwhile, the right side of the images reveals:

  • Cassini division
  • Encke gap
  • Rings A, B, C, and F

The Cassini division is the most visible gap in Saturn’s ring system. And it is also visible.

What are Some James Webb Saturn Moon Details?

The James Webb Telescope reveals the image of Saturn. It presents clear details within the planet’s ring system. And it is surrounded by some of its moons as mentioned above. Moreover, the dedicated team will be able to delve into the planet’s fainter rings. And it will be done by rough additional, and deeper exposures (not depicted here). It will be including the thin G ring and the diffuse E ring that are not visible in this picture.

Let’s Have a Clear Understanding of NASA Saturn Images & its Rings:

If we have a keen insight into the Saturn ring. Then it consists of a combination of rocky and icy fragments. And they are ranging in size from smaller than a grain of sand to some as large as Earth’s mountains. And you will be surprised by the recent findings too.

Researchers employed Webb to investigate Enceladus. And they did a discovery of a significant plume coming from the moon’s southern pole. This plume contains both particles and abundant water vapor which contributes to Saturn’s E ring. Thus, James Webb’s Saturn’s water details have also been found here.

What is the NASA’s Statement on James Webb Telescope Images 2023 of Saturn Rings?

According to NASA:

“The large, diffuse structures in the northern hemisphere do not follow the planet’s lines of latitude. So this image is lacking the familiar striped appearance that is typically seen from Saturn’s deeper atmospheric layers.”

Moreover,

Differences in the looks of Saturn’s northern and southern poles are normal. The northern region experiences summertime while the southern hemisphere is exiting winter darkness. But the darker-than-usual appearance of the northern hemisphere could be from “an unknown seasonal process affecting polar aerosols in particular.”

Is There Any Role of Saturn’s Atmosphere in the Recent Details of NASA’S Images?

The atmosphere of Saturn reveals unexpected and intriguing details. The Cassini spacecraft provides us with clearer observations of the atmosphere. This marks the first example of seeing the planet’s atmosphere with such clarity!

If you are wondering about the clarity of the image. Then it has been captured at the distinct wavelength of 3.23 microns. Which is a unique capability for Webb.

What is a Lacking Element in the Recent James Webb Saturn Images?

The images also lack some of the significant features too. It lacks the familiar striped pattern that is usually observed in Saturn’s deeper atmospheric layers. Moreover, the irregular pattern is the reflection of significant planetary waves in the stratospheric aerosols. And these are positioned high above the primary clouds. And it would also be a surprise that these patterns may be similar to those observed in the initial Webb NIRCam examinations of Jupiter. That is why James Webb Jupiter findings would also be related to these images.

Webb’s new photo is part of a series of deeply detail images. And scientists hope will reveal more about Saturn, including insights into its fainter G and E rings.

Matthew Tiscareno. A senior research scientist at the SETI Institute who did lead the process of designing the telescope’s observation of Saturn. He says in a statement.

“We look forward to digging into the deep exposures to see what discoveries may await!”

What are the Future Expectations of Scientists About the James Webb Saturn Images & Exploration?

Besides these, scientists have optimism that Webb will have the capacity to identify further moons orbiting the gas giant. And NASA’s blog post indicates it. Saturn has the highest number of known moons in the entire solar system. The recent unveiling of 62 new moons earlier this year has made another addition. And that is why now the total count is 145.

Firmly securing the planet’s position as the leader in the solar system’s “moon race.” In comparison, Jupiter, which is a runner-up, possesses 95 confirmed moons.

How do Saturn’s rings shine in Webb’s observations of a ringed planet?

Astronomers have discovered surprising details about Saturn’s atmosphere. Using a new image captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. In the image, Saturn itself appears extremely dark due to the near-total absorption of sunlight by methane gas.

Why do Saturn’s rings glow?

Methane gas absorbs almost all of the sunlight falling into the planet’s atmosphere. However, the icy rings stay relatively bright, leading to the unusual appearance of Saturn’s dark orb.

What does Saturn look like through a telescope?

Saturn’s rings give it a 3D appearance, more so than any other object you observe through a telescope. The shadows of the rings against the disc of the planet make it appear as a sphere, rather than a flat disc. You’ll also notice that the edges of Saturn appear darker than the center (limb-darkened).

Can the James Webb telescope see Saturn?

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured its stunning, first official image of Saturn and its rings.

What is the mystery behind Saturn’s rings?

The loss of the Moon was enough to remove Saturn from Neptune’s grasp and leave it with its present-day tilt. Wisdom and his team further hypothesize that fragments from the destroyed Moon settled into the planet’s orbit and formed its iconic rings.

How does Super Saturn keep its rings?

Having retrograde rotation means that the particles of the ring system are never too close to the star for too long, and thus can stay together.

What is JWST & Its Contribution to Saturn Images 2023?

The Webb Telescope is a scientific partnership between NASA, the ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency. Its purpose is to look into the studies of the cosmos. And they also reveal amazing revelations about the early universe.

They said:

“Saturn itself appears extremely dark at this infrared wavelength observed by the telescope, as methane gas absorbs almost all of the sunlight falling on the atmosphere. However, the icy rings stay relatively bright, leading to the unusual appearance of Saturn in the Webb image.”

What are Some Other Missions That have Revealed So Much About Saturn’s Atmosphere?

Exploratory missions such as:

They have diligently did the monitory of Saturn’s atmosphere and rings over several decades. Do you think these experiments of James Webb Saturn would further assist astronomers in doing space exploration? If yes, then how? Let us know in the comment section below.

NASA has recently done some research on the complex structure of the moon and found out that there is microbial life on the moon.

But, how did NASA come to this news? Let’s find out!

As we all know that the moon is a lifeless place in comparison to Earth. Without any evidence of life, glistening clouds, or flowing water.

Microbial Life on the South Pole of the Moon

However, according to a NASA expert, the moon is more complex than it first appears.

Microbial life could survive in hostile circumstances like those on the moon, according to Prabal Saxena, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Centre.

According to Prabal Saxena,

“There may be potentially habitable niches for such life on some airless bodies in relatively protected areas.”

But first, let’s find out if is there a presence of microbial life in space or anywhere is possible.

Is There Microbial Life in Space?

Microbes can be found wherever humans are present, including our homes, offices, industrial areas, the outdoors, and even in space. Bacteria and fungi inhabit these environments alongside us.

Did Microbial Life on Moon Come Up From Earth?

If these moon bacteria exist, they most certainly came from Earth and rode along with a lunar lander.

Saxena researches potential extraterrestrial life places beyond our solar system, but he has lately collaborated with a team focused on a region closer to Earth: the lunar south pole.

Ice craters and potential microbial life on the moon can be found in the lunar south pole.
Because NASA plans to land its Artemis III astronauts there in 2025, the lunar south pole has received a lot of interest recently.

There are 13 probable landing sites that have been identified by the agency.

next human moon landing

Will This Microbial Life on Moon be Helpful for NASA?

The lunar south pole has never been occupied by a human being. However, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper from NASA has revealed that it has ice in its craters, which astronauts may mine for rocket fuel.

Some areas of these craters are perpetually in the dark and in shadow. These lunar niches are therefore never exposed to the sun’s harmful radiation, making them a potential refuge for extremely virulent bacteria.

According to a recent study by Saxena,

“Importantly, recent research on the survivability of microbes exposed to conditions like those on parts of the lunar surface indicate surprising resilience of numerous microorganisms to such conditions,”

It has been said by Leonard David for Inside Outer Space.

cold traps
A map showing “cold traps” within gloomy lunar craters at the moon’s south and north poles (left and right). Blue dots indicate areas where water ice may exist at or near the surface.

Microbial Life on Earth: Deinococcus radiodurans 

For instance, scientists discovered that a bacterium known as Deinococcus radiodurans endured for a year outside the International Space Station. Additionally, tardigrades have endured outside the ISS in the harsh environment of space.

According to Saxena,

“We’re trying to figure out which particular organisms might be best suited for surviving in such regions.”

Even if bacteria don’t now exist on the moon, they most likely will if we begin to move around on its surface. According to Space.com, if Saxena and his team are correct, those bacteria might not only survive in these perpetually covered craters but also flourish and thrive there.

Is There a Microbial Life on Moon?

According to a planetary scientist from NASA, the conditions present on the south pole of the Moon have the potential to support microbial life.

Studies have revealed that specific microorganisms on our planet have the ability to survive in harsh environments. Consequently, it is seemingly fair that this resilient microbial life on Earth might have unintentionally traveled to the Moon aboard a lunar lander and currently reside there.

Can Bacteria Live on the Moon?

During the Apollo 12 mission, the camera that belonged to the Surveyor 3 probe was returned to Earth from the Moon. Upon examining the camera, scientists made an intriguing discovery. Which is the presence of a living bacterium called Streptococcus mitis. 

Conclusion:

Above mentioned data shows us that there is microbial life on Moon, and scientists will use it for future research, and findings.

You will be surprised to know that astounding revelations have emerged as researchers, harnessing the remarkable capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, uncovered a captivating phenomenon: a captivating water vapor plume emanating from Saturn’s enchanting moon, Enceladus.

This remarkable plume stretches a staggering distance of over 6,000 miles, equivalent to the approximate span between the vibrant cities of Los Angeles, California, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Water Vapor Volcanic Plume

Webb is providing scientists with a first-ever direct view of how this water emission feeds the water supply for the entire Saturnian system and its rings.

In a monumental stride for scientific discovery, never before have we witnessed such a captivating spectacle—a water emission water vapor plume of this magnitude stretching across an expansive distance.

Enceladus, a captivating oceanic world measuring a mere 313 miles in diameter and roughly 4% of Earth’s size, stands as an exceptionally alluring scientific pursuit within our solar system when it comes to the quest for alien life.

A vast pool of salty water sits between the moon’s rocky core and frozen outer surface. Informally known as “tiger stripes,” geyser-like volcanoes spray jets of ice particles, water vapor, and organic compounds out of the moon’s surface.

Observatories had previously measured moon jets hundreds of kilometers away, but Webb’s extraordinary sensitivity exposes a new story.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus
In this image, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope shows a water vapor plume jetting from the southern pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, extending out 20 times the size of the moon itself. The inset, an image from the Cassini orbiter, emphasizes how small Enceladus appears in the Webb image compared to the water plume.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and G. Villanueva (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center). Image Processing: A. Pagan (STScI).

A lead author Geronimo Villanueva of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “

“When I was looking at the data, at first, I was thinking I had to be wrong. It was just so shocking to detect a water plume more than 20 times the size of the moon,”

He also said that,

 “The water vapor plume extends far beyond its release region at the southern pole.”

What are the Plumes on Europa?

New research suggests that the potential plumes observed on Jupiter’s moon Europa, which may consist of water vapor venting into space, could originate from within the moon’s icy crust.

Scientists have been theorizing about the source of these intriguing plumes, and this recent study introduces a novel possibility.

Instead of being sourced from beneath the crust or from an underground ocean, the plumes could arise from the water present within Europa’s icy crust itself.

This discovery adds a new dimension to our understanding of the moon’s geology and the mechanisms that drive these mysterious eruptions into space.

The researchers were interested in more than just the plume’s length. It is also very astonishing how quickly the water vapor is erupting—about 79 gallons per second.

At this pace, we’d have an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled in no time. On our beloved Earth, achieving the same feat with a garden hose would take over two weeks.

Are water plumes spraying from Europa NASA’s Europa Clipper is on the case?

Scientists caution that detecting water vapor plumes on Europa, Jupiter’s moon, will be challenging, even with close proximity. The world was captivated in 2005 when images revealed a spectacular watery plume erupting from the surface of Enceladus, Saturn’s moon.

Throughout its decade-long exploration of the Saturnian system, the Cassini orbiter captured the first images of Enceladus’s plumes and even flew through them to collect samples of their constituent materials.

While Cassini’s position within the Saturnian system gave it invaluable insights into this far-off moon, Webb’s singular view from the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 2 and the astounding sensitivity of its Integral Field Unit aboard the NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph) Instrument is providing new context.

Villanueva said,

“The orbit of Enceladus around Saturn is relatively quick, just 33 hours. As it whips around Saturn, the moon and its jets are basically spitting off water, leaving a halo, almost like a donut, in its wake,”

He also said that,

“In the Webb Observations, not only was the plume huge, but there was just water absolutely everywhere.”

Now, let’s have a look on the Saturn ring, and see if it has any water vapor, and the reasons behind its existing.

Water Vapor Plume on Saturn’s Ring:

The dense “E-ring,” Saturn’s outermost and broadest ring, is present with the fuzzy torus of water that was observed to be “everywhere.”

The Webb observations clearly show how the torus is fueled by the moon’s water vapor plumes. According to an analysis of the Webb data, only around 30% of the water in this torus escapes, supplying the remaining 70% of the water in the Saturnian system.

Webb will be the main observatory for the ocean moon Enceladus in the coming years, what causses water vapors plume and findings from Webb.

It will help guide future solar system satellite missions that will try to investigate the depth of the underlying ocean, the thickness of the ice crust, and other things.

Water Vapor Plume
In this image, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s instruments are revealing details into how one of Saturn’s moon’s feeds a water supply to the entire system of the ringed planet. New images from Webb’s NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph) have revealed a water vapor plume jetting from the southern pole of Enceladus, extending out more than 20 times the size of the moon itself. The Integral Field Unit (IFU) aboard NIRSpec also provided insights into how the water from Enceladus feeds the rest of its surrounding environment.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Leah Hustak (STScI)

“Right now, Webb provides a unique way to directly measure how water evolves, and caused water vapor plume and changes over time across Enceladus’ immense plume, and as we see here, we will even make new discoveries and learn more about the composition of the underlying ocean,” added co-author Stefanie Milam at NASA Goddard.

“Because of Webb’s wavelength coverage and sensitivity, and what we’ve learned from previous missions, we have an entire new window of opportunity in front of us.”

Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) program 1250 was used to conclude Webb’s observations of Enceladus.

This program’s first objective is to showcase Webb’s expertise in a certain scientific field and lay the groundwork for further research.

What the Research of Water Vapor Plume Actually Depicts?

Let’s conclude the above mentioned research by the quote of Heidi Hammel. He is an Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Webb interdisciplinary scientist and leader of the GTO program.

“This program was essentially a proof of concept after many years of developing the observatory, and it’s just thrilling that all this science has already come out of quite a short amount of observation time,” 

To investigate the south polar region of the Moon during Artemis missions, NASA is looking for industry proposals for a next-generation LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle). This LTV will enable humans to travel further and carry out more science than ever before.

The Artemis crew will use the LTV to explore and sample more of the lunar surface than they could do on foot.

Instead of owning the rover, NASA will hire LTV as a service from the private sector. NASA can take advantage of private innovation.

They offer the best value to American taxpayers while meeting its goals for human spaceflight science and exploration by contracting services from business partners.

NASA is inviting proposals from the industry for the development of an advanced Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will enable astr

What is NASA Lunar Terrain Vehicle?

Astronauts to venture deeper into the Moon’s south polar region and undertake unprecedented scientific endeavors during the Artemis missions. The agency aims to push the boundaries, allowing astronauts to explore new frontiers and expand their scientific capabilities beyond previous limits.

Lara Kearney, manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said,

“We want to leverage industry’s knowledge and innovation, combined with NASA’s history of successfully operating rovers, to make the best possible surface rover for our astronaut crews and scientific researchers.”

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle will operate similarly to a hybrid of an unmanned Mars rover and an Apollo-style lunar rover.

Similar to NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers, it will support both phases driven by astronauts and phases as an unmanned mobile science exploration platform.

This will make it possible to conduct scientific even when there aren’t any crews on the lunar surface. The LTV will be used by the Artemis astronauts to travel around the lunar surface and transport research gear, increasing the lengths they can travel on each moonwalk.

NASA has specified requirements for businesses interested in creating and demonstrating the LTV under the Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services Request for Proposals, including a strategy that encourages businesses to create an innovative rover for use by NASA and other commercial customers for several years.

Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle 

In order to move supplies and scientific payloads between crewed landing sites and enable more science returns, resource exploration, and lunar exploration, engineers will be able to control the LTV remotely.

This will increase the amount of scientific study that can be conducted on the Moon during uncrewed operations, allow researchers to look into potential surface mission landing sites, and help them determine their aims and objectives for each location.

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle will need to have several systems to support both crewed and uncrewed operations to manage the peculiar environment near the lunar South Pole, which includes permanently darkened regions and prolonged periods without sunlight.

Modern communication and navigation systems, semi-autonomous driving, enhanced power management, and environmental protection are some of the more crucial systems.

How Many Lunar Rovers are on the Moon?

A total of three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRVs) were employed during different Apollo missions on the Moon. Astronauts David Scott and Jim Irwin used one LRV during Apollo 15, while John Young and Charles Duke utilized another LRV during Apollo 16.

Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, on the other hand, had access to the third LRV during Apollo 17. In each instance, the mission commander took on the role of the driver and sat in the left-hand seat of the respective LRV.

How Much Lunar Rovers Cost?

The $38 million mentioned does not represent the cost of a single unit, but rather the total expenditure for the entire project, which encompasses four units and eight variants designed for testing, development, and training purposes.

To put it into perspective, the renowned Scuderia Ferrari F1 team invested over $400 million in 2020 alone for the development and production of their Formula 1 cars.

Lunar Surface Operations:

Companies are needed to offer end-to-end services as part of the bids, from development and delivery to the lunar surface to execution of operations. Each rover must be capable of accommodating two astronauts in spacesuits, a robotic arm.

Or other devices to aid in science exploration and the harsh conditions at the lunar South Pole. Before employing the LTV with humans, the corporation will be required to successfully test it in a lunar environment.  

As of Artemis V in 2029, NASA plans to employ the LTV for crewed activities. The rover will be utilized for uncrewed and commercial tasks before the crew arrives once it landed on the lunar surface.

Space Launch Rocket Mission

The deadline for proposals for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle services contract is July 10, 2023, and the contract will be awarded in November of that same year. Through a draft call for proposals and an earlier request for information, this request for proposals has considered industry feedback.

Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts to the Moon for scientific research, and commercial gain, and to lay the groundwork for crewed missions to Mars, including the first woman and person of color. 

The basis for NASA’s deep space exploration comprises its Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, Gateway lunar terrain vehicle orbiting base, cutting-edge spacesuits and rovers, and human landing devices.