Chandrayaan 2 Moon Landing: Countdown begins for India's historic mission as Chandrayaan-2 will make its most significant move to journey to the moon. As the Vikram Lander will touchdown the lunar surface during the wee hours of Saturday, ISRO will prove its mettle in the space science. But do you know how ISRO created artificial moon surface to test rover, lander?
Notably, the surface of the moon and that of the earth are completely different. So ISRO created an artificial moon surface to test rover and lander.
The Indian space agency has done a lot of hard work on the ground so that its moon lander -- Vikram -- can soft-land safely and rover Pragyaan can move around.
The moon's surface is covered with craters, rocks and dust. Its soil is also of different texture as compared to that of earth. The legs of lander and wheels of the rover had to be tested before Chandrayaan 2 launch.
So, the Indian space agency created moonlight environment for testing its rover. Importing lunar soil-like substance from the US was a costly affair. So, ISRO had to look for a local solution as its need was about 60/70 ton of soil.
As many geologists had told ISRO that there were "anorthosite" rocks near Salem in Tamil Nadu that would be similar to features of moon soil or regolith. It is when ISRO finalised to take the "anorthosite" rocks from Sithampoondi and Kunnamalai villages in Tamil Nadu for moon soil.
Then those rocks were crushed to the required size and then shifted to Bengaluru where its Lunar Terrain Test Facility was located and the testbed was created. Artificial lighting was also set up to resemble the Sun-lit environment on the moon.
In order to test the lander, a testbed was created at ISRO's facility at Challakere in Chitradurga district in Karnataka.
Artificial moon craters were created at Challakere, similar to the site where lander Vikram will set down its legs.
Chandrayaan-2 moon landing:
India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will finally touchdown the lunar surface tonight. People across the world are waiting with bated breath to witness the historic event of the Chandrayaan-2 moon landing that will place India as one of the brightest spots in the world of science.
India TV will be broadcasting the mega coverage of Chandrayaan-2 moon landing where a learned panel will keep explaining you the process as it unfolds gradually.
VIDEO: Chandrayaan-2: Director of Nehru Planetarium explains how it will land on moon