“Revolutionary Lunar Discovery: Chandrayaan-3’s Secret Mission Revealed! What Lies Beyond the Moon?”

Bengaluru: In an effort to gain a deeper understanding of Earth-like features on the Moon, the propulsion module of Chandrayaan-3 remains in operation. Impressively, this scientific instrument has already transmitted a significant amount of data within a span of 52 days, while orbiting the Moon.

The propulsion module was equipped with the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) instrument, designed to study and collect data on Earth-like characteristics present on the Moon’s surface. This module was also responsible for transporting the landing module, including the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, to the Moon before detaching itself at an appropriate orbit.

Beyond its lunar mission, SHAPE has a broader scope. It aims to collect data on exoplanets, which are planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to utilize this data for future studies of exoplanets.

“SHAPE can only be operated during specific times when visibility from Earth is optimal. It continuously acquires data during its operation. The data, however, is time-invariant, meaning that once specific Earth-like characteristics on the Moon are captured, they remain constant and do not change over time. We have gathered sufficient data thus far to meet the objectives of the payload. However, we will continue to operate it,” explained S Somnath, ISRO Chairman.

The analysis of this data is expected to take several months, and any potential discoveries will be announced by ISRO in due course. Interest in exoplanets among astrophysicists has surged, as some exoplanets may offer conditions suitable for sustaining life.

According to NASA reports, over 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered to date and are considered “confirmed,” among the numerous candidates in our galaxy alone. Many other potential exoplanet detections await further observation and confirmation of their existence.

ISRO has clarified that the SHAPE instrument’s objective is to facilitate future discoveries of smaller planets through reflected light, which could potentially provide insights into their habitability or the presence of life.

Leave a comment