The prestigious launch of Chandrayaan 2 willl mark a momentous event for ISRO as it shall carry NASA’S laser instruments set to help scientists make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon.
The instruments in question are retroreflectors- sophisticated mirrors that reflect laser light signals sent from the Earth. With the help of these signals, scientists can then pinpoint the location of the vehicle and hence calculate the exact distance to the Moon.
NASA confirmed this status of India’s Lunar mission at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held at Texas, US last week. India’s Chandrayan 2 and Israeli Bersheet, that are set to touch down on April 11, will each carry NASA owned retroreflector arrays.
“We’re trying to populate the entire surface with as many laser reflector arrays as we can possibly get there”
– Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
The existing retroreflectors on the Moon have some flaws as in they are big ones instead of individual ones which would waste fewer laser pulses and allow for more recise measurements of the Moon’s surface.
Scientists now await the possibility of analyses extremely detailed.