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Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan 2

Moon is our closest cosmic body and so its natural that mankind is fascinated by it and wants to explore it. India is the 6th country besides USA, USSR, Japan, China and the European Space Agency to have visited the moon and first to have tried landing on the lunar south pole. The lunar south pole is of special interest because a large part of this side of the moon remains in darkness always, creating cold traps which might contain the fossil records of our Solar System.

Chandrayaan 1- A legacy

It was in 2008 on 22nd October, when Chandrayaan 1 took off from the Satish Dhawan Space centre at Sriharikota and on 14th Nov 2008 its moon impact probe crashed (hard-landed) near the lunar south pole. Among its many objectives achieved, the most important feat was the discovery of the presence of water molecules on moon's surface. The programme came to an end on 28th August 2009.

Chandrayaan 2- Expanding Horizons

Chandrayan-2 a shimmering golden spacecraft took off for the moon from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre launch pad on 22nd July 2019 at 2:43 pm. and was expected to make a soft landing on the moon in the wee hours of 7th September on the Lunar south pole.

It would have made India the fourth country to have been able to soft land on the moon.

From Earth to the moon, mission Chandrayaan 2 consists of a launcher and the spacecraft. The space craft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.

  • Launcher - The GSLV Mk III [Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III] will take Chandrayaan 2 to its planned Earth orbit.
  • Lunar Orbiter - The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter will stay in the moons orbit and will serve as a link between the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu and the Lander - Vikram
  • Lander - Vikram the lander named after the ISRO founder Dr Vikram Sarabhai has been designed to accomplish a soft landing on the lunar surface. It will be able to communicate with IDSN, the Orbiter as well as the Lunar Rover - Pragyan.
  • Lunar Rover - Pragyan, which means wisdom in Sanskrit, is a 6-wheeled, solar powered rover. It will move around lunar surface performing various chemical analysis and sending data through the lander.

  • Chandrayan 2 is indeed a leap ahead in lunar exploration. To summarise a few points that make it special:

  • It's the first space mission to try soft landing closest to the southern pole of the moon.
  • It's the first Indian lunar expedition which is a complete home-grown technology.
  • It's the first Indian mission to explore the lunar surface with a technology which is entirely home-grown.

The high risk, high complexity and the first of its kind mission, the Chandrayaan 2 mission's Vikram lander went silent just 2.1 km above the moon's surface. The Chandrayaan-2 mission's orbiter is safely positioned in the lunar orbit and will be sending useful and relevant data for the next one to two years to come.

In Story

Failed In My Dream Of Becoming A Pilot

Failed In My Dream Of Becoming A Pilot

In his book "My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions", Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who specialized in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology, said he was desperate to pursue a career in flying.

"Over the years I had nurtured the hope to be able to fly to handle a machine as it rose higher and higher in the stratosphere was my dearest dream," he wrote.

Out of the two interview calls Kalam got, one was from the Indian Air Force in Dehradun and the other from the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTDP) at the Ministry of Defence in Delhi.

While the interview at DTDP was "easy", he recounted that for the Air Force Selection Board, he realized that along with qualifications and engineering knowledge, they were also looking for a certain kind of "smartness" in the candidate.

For former President A P J Abdul Kalam, becoming a fighter pilot was a "dearest dream" but he failed to realize it by a whisker as he bagged the ninth position when only eight slots were available in the IAF.

"I had failed to realize my dream of becoming an air force pilot," he wrote.

He says "I walked around for a while till I reached the edge of a cliff" before deciding to go to Rishikesh and "seek a new way forward".

"It is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives," says Kalam who went on to put his "heart and soul" at his job as the senior scientific assistant at DTDP.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, usually referred as A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, was the 11th President of India for the term 2002 to 2007. Popularly known as the 'Missile Man of India' he fulfilled his childhood dream at the age of 74, when he became the first Indian Head of State to fly a fighter plane, Sukhoi-30 MKI at the Lohegaon Air Force Base in Pune.


Physicist Kalpathi Ramakrishna Ramanathan

Physicist Kalpathi Ramakrishna Ramanathan

ISRO which was known as INCSR or The Indian National Committee for Space Research way back in 1962, was formed under the leadership of the Father of India's Space Programme - Vikram Sarabhai and the renowned physicist Kalpathi Ramakrishna Ramanathan.

K R Ramanathan, an eminent physicist and a meteorologist was born in the Kalpathy Village, Palghat, Kerala State on February 28, 1893.

His father, Ramakrishna Sastrigal was a learned astrologer and a Sanskrit scholar.

Having completed his B.A.(Hons.) and M.A. in Physics from Presidency College, Madras, in 1921 he collaborated as a doctoral student with Dr C V Raman on studies of Molecular scattering of light in liquids and its vapours. His association with metrology started at the Indian Metrological Department and continued for next 20 years, conducting studies in various disciplines of atmosphere notably geo-magnetism and solar physics.

At the age of 55 Ramanathan joined the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) as its first director, which played an important role as the cradle of the early Indian Space Programme, testing the sounding rockets and helping to develop the TERLS or Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station, from which Nike-Apache rocket supplied by NASA was launched in 1963, allowing India to put its first signature in space programmes.

Professor Ramanathan has been awarded many honours at various times of his life like the International Meteorological Organization Prize in 1961, Padma Bhushan in1965, Padma Vibhushan in 1976 and the Aryabhatta Medal in1977.

We lost this great physicist in 1984, known as a modest, wise and serene gentleman.



Match the Space agencies having launch capability with their Countries

ISRO Australia
ESA United Kingdom
NASA Canada
JAXA China
UKSA European States
ASA India
CNES Israel
KARI Italy
CNSA Japan
ASI South Korea
ISA France
CSA United States


Find the astronaut



In Formation


Space Museum at Thumba - Kerala

A few meters away from the coastline, near the northern boundary of TERLS stands the St Mary Magdalene Church which speaks the tell tales of the birth of the Indian space programme in its compound. TERLS or Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station is the birth place of the Indian space Programme which lies on the outskirts of Thiruvanthapuram in Kerala.

It was here in 1962 that the first rocket system of India was assembled and integrated. With time as the scientific activities grew, new buildings came up which consigned the church building into oblivion.

The church lined with high-tech artefacts and visuals sprang back into life when it was converted to a photographic facility, and later into a Space Museum in 1985.

The Space Museum provides a substantial account of the Indian Space Programme from its start. The story unfolds in the backdrop of six sections, consisting of history, technology, education, education, applications, global and the future. The museum houses full-size models of PSLV and PSLV heat shield and scaled down models of GSLV, GSLV Mk-III and ATV. Specially tailored movies on Indian Space Programme are screened in a movie theatre with surround sound system.

A must visit, the museum is a pleasure with its picturesque backdrop and rich history to any traveller and science enthusiast.


  • NRC (National Register of Citizens) Assam final list has been published.

  • The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched the 'Angikaar campaign', to bring beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna - PMAY (urban) into the fold of other central schemes such as Ujjawala and Ayushman Bharat.

  • Merger of Big Banks: 10 mega banks merged into 4 PSBs. India will now have 12 Public Sector Banks from 27 Public Sector Banks

  • Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi will be renamed as Arun Jaitley Stadium in memory of former DDCA President.

  • Along with PV Sindhu who became the first Indian to win the gold at the BWF World Champion, para-badminton player Manasi Joshi also brought home her first gold at the Para World Badminton Championship.

  • Fit India movement was launched saying the initiative was the need of the hour and will take the country towards a healthier future.

  • Samudrayaan: India's is planning to explore the deep sea region with the 'Samudrayaan' project.

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has developed new technology called 'Impact Based Forecasting Approach' to assess rise of water level in rivers .



There are certain words common in English which have a special place in Astronomy. Let’s look at some:

POLE - either extremity of an axis through a sphere, e.g. North pole and South pole

RINGS - relatively thin band of rocks and dust and ice particles that orbit around a planet in the planet's equatorial plane.

DUST - the Universe is a very dusty place. Cosmic dust consists of tiny particles of solid material floating around in the space between the stars.

ORBIT - path of a body revolving around an attracting center of mass, as a planet around the Sun or a satellite around a planet.

TRAJECTORY - the path of a body as it travels through space.

SHUTTLE - a vehicle that is designed to go into space and return to Earth several times.

CLUSTER - an aggregation of stars or galaxies moving together through space.

COMPANION - the fainter of the two components of a double star.


Australian Space Agency ASA Australia
UK Space Agency UKSA United Kingdom
Canadian Space Agency CSA Canada
China National Space Administration CNSA China
European Space Agency ESA European States
Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO India
Israeli Space Agency ISA Israel
Italian Space Agency (Italian: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) ASI China
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA Japan
Korea Aerospace Research Institute KARI South Korea
French: Centre National d’Études Spatiales CNES France
National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA United States


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