Chandrayaan-2 Sends First Lunar Photo

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Chandrayaan-2 Reaches Lunar Orbit, Sends Back Great Pics!

India’s been working very hard lately to prove they can run with the big dogs when it comes to space exploration. The second most populous nation on earth made news earlier this year with their first anti-satellite missile test. While that event held huge ramifications for the emerging military-space-industrial-complex, India is also working toward advancing its extraterrestrial scientific contributions. Last month they launched their second lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan-2, which contains their first lunar lander. The craft reached lunar orbit on Monday, and now space lovers everywhere watch as Chandrayaan-2 sends back its first lunar photo.

Joining The Club

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to land Chandrayaan-2 on the Moon’s south pole in a couple of weeks. If it does so successfully, India will become the fourth nation to successfully accomplish a lunar landing. So far, only China, Russia, and the United States have accomplished the feat so far. However, Israel almost did it a few weeks ago. Their mission crash-landed and littered the Moon with tardigrades.

Read More: Now We Have Moon Tardigrades—Thanks, Israel!

A Great Photo of the “Dark Side of the Moon”

Okay… “There is no Dark Side of the Moon, really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.” This particular photo, however, is of the far side of the Moon. In the pic, you can see Apollo crater and Mare Orientalis. That’s not where the lander’s going, though. The landing site on the lunar south pole was chosen after Chandrayaan-2’s predecessor found signs of ice in the region. 

Chandrayaan-2, if it lands successfully, will truly make India proud. The ISRO built and launched the craft on a shoe-string budget. Its success could serve as a major inspiration for other nations who haven’t previously thought a space program was within their reach. Here’s to a successful landing next month!


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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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