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Geological characterization of Chandrayaan-2 landing site in the southern high latitudes of the Moon

Sinha, Rishitosh K. and Sivaprahasam, Vijayan and Bhatt, Megha and Harish, - and Kumari, Nandita and Srivastava, Neeraj and Varatharajan, Indhu and Ray, Dwijesh and Wöhler, Christian and Bhardwaj, Anil (2020) Geological characterization of Chandrayaan-2 landing site in the southern high latitudes of the Moon. Icarus, 337, p. 113449. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113449. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0019103518307036


ISRO's lunar orbiter-lander-rover mission Chandryaan-2 is scheduled to be launched in the mid of 2019. In this contribution, we have carried out detailed geological characterization of the prime landing site (70.9°S, 22.8°E) of the Chandrayaan-2 lander – “Vikram”. The proposed landing site is located amidst the nearside lunar highlands at high southern latitudes, which is ~350 km north of South Pole Aitken (SPA) basin rim. Topography of the region is generally flat and it is largely confined by craters of varying diameter. The majority (94%) of the landing ellipse (~15 × 8 km) is within the boundary of intercrater plains with a slope <15° and yields a crater retention age of ~3.7−0.04+0.03 Ga. Craters (diameter: ~2.28 m to ~1.13 km) consistent with morphologies varying from fresh to degraded are common within the landing ellipse, though the ellipse center is devoid of craters with significant depth. Analysis of the spectral reflectance data suggests that the landing ellipse is dominantly feldspathic/highland material. The estimated average abundance of elements within the landing ellipse are Fe: 4.2 wt%, Mg: 5.4 wt%, Ca: 10 wt%, and Ti: 0.3 wt%. Results indicate that the surface composition might correspond to FAN dominated material. Based on elemental and spectral analysis results, we envisage possible mixing of highland material with ejecta from multiple craters surrounding the landing ellipse and/or SPA basin, resulting in hybridisation of highland regolith. Together, the results provide a contextual framework for in situ investigations at the proposed landing site.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/138804/
Document Type:Article
Title:Geological characterization of Chandrayaan-2 landing site in the southern high latitudes of the Moon
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Sinha, Rishitosh K.Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Sivaprahasam, VijayanPhysical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Bhatt, MeghaPhysical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Harish, -Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Kumari, NanditaStony BrookUNSPECIFIED
Srivastava, NeerajPhysical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Varatharajan, IndhuIndhu.Varatharajan (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ray, DwijeshPhysical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Wöhler, ChristianTU DortmundUNSPECIFIED
Bhardwaj, AnilPhysical Research Laboratory (PRL)UNSPECIFIED
Date:February 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Icarus
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113449
Page Range:p. 113449
Keywords:ISRO, Chandrayaan-2, Moon, Landing site, Geology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project BepiColombo - MERTIS and BELA
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Laboratories
Deposited By: Varatharajan, Indhu
Deposited On:04 Dec 2020 08:10
Last Modified:04 Dec 2020 08:10

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