ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS On July 4, ISRO launched an innovative social media campaign building up hype for its upcoming Chandrayaan II mission — asking viewers what they would bring to the moon if they had the chance to pick.
The post included a mention of the payload of the Chandrayaan II, which includes an orbiter, lander, a moon rover and 14 scientific instruments. While there is no scope to add much more than this, the post was a playful look at seeing what the public would take to space if they could tag along on a moon mission. At the top of most lists was the Indian flag.
Here is what ISRO put up on July 9:
“Our future Moon travellers have responded — and how! A few interesting answers are by @siddhant_shenoy, Hyderabad, @ivigneshwar, Hyderabad, and Dev Ghosh, Kolkata. We’re especially happy to see that the Indian flag is the most common #MoonEssential in everyone’s list.”
The dream of seeing an Indian flag in space or on the moon was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during last year’s independence day address, where he said that an Indian astronaut would carry the tricolour to the moon as part of the manned Gaganyaan mission, scheduled for 2022.
Some of the respondents may be happy to find that a few items are already on the list: The request for a ‘camera’ is met twofold: Chandrayaan 2 carries one Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) 2, and one Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC).
The other request, for a solar charger, is a must-carry for both the Orbiter and the ‘Pragyan’ rover. Humans planning to travel to space will be ill-equipped for survival without some form of exploiting solar energy.
The other replies were more playful, though not necessarily less practical. A “tablet with videos from earth” might seem out of place on the moon but regardless of location, humans are unlikely to get over their social media addiction and need for entertainment.
One respondent said he would bring along a copy of Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist. An apt quote from the best-selling 1988 novel comes to mind:
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
Chandrayaan 2’s payload includes a host of scientific instruments, which will study everything from the landscape of the lunar surface using radio waves to the composition of its soil using an x-ray spectrometer and even digging into the soil using a small thermal-sensitive probe.