ISRO: Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft completes 9,000 orbits around moon, detects chromium, manganese

The two elements, Chromium and Manganese, were detected by Chandrayaan-2 at few places during the intense solar flare events. So far, the presence of these elements on the lunar surface was only known through soil samples which were collected during the earlier missions.

Data by handrayaan-2
Data by handrayaan-2

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on September 6, 2021, that its Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has completed 9,000 orbits around the moon. The officials from ISRO also informed that spacecraft has detected minor elements of manganese and chromium through remote sensing.

ISRO Chief K Sivan, at a two-day lunar science workshop marking the completion of 2 years of Chandrayaan-2 launched on July 22, 2019, said that data from the second moon mission is national property. He further implored the scientific and academic community to utilize the same for furthering science.

K Sivan, who is also the Secretary of the Department of Space also released the science and the data product documents from the mission so far.

Chandrayaan-2 detects Chromium and Manganese

One of the sessions during the workshop discussed the payload results of Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) measures the Moon’s X Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectra for examining the presence of the major elements such as aluminium, magnesium, calcium, silicon, iron, titanium and sodium.

While discussing the results, Shyam Narendranath, the principal investigator of CLASS payload stated that it has seen the detection of Chromium and Manganese for the first time from the surface of the moon through remote sensing.

The discovery was clearly a surprise as these elements are less than one weight percentage on the moon.

The two elements, Chromium and Manganese, were detected at few places during the intense solar flare events. So far, the presence of these elements on the lunar surface was only known through soil samples which were collected during the earlier missions.

As per the statement by ISRO, the eight payloads onboard Chandrayaan-2 have been conducting scientific observations of the moon by remote sensing and in-situ techniques.

Other elements detected by CLASS:

As per Narendranath, CLASS has also managed to obtain the first set of direct elemental abundances from all the major elements. They make up more than 99% of all the lunar surface. The elements that have been detected include aluminium, oxygen, calcium, silicon, iron, and titanium.

Why the new data obtained from Chandrayaan-2 is significant?

K Sivan, while speaking from the ISRO headquarters said that Chandrayaan-2 will be able to help us in understanding the evolution of the inner solar system as Moon which is an airless celestial body, has preserved the signatures of the events that took place in the early years of the solar system.

He further added that the results are very much encouraging and that the entire scientific community of this country will be able to make use of this data and discover new science which has not yet been done.

The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter payloads data have been available in the public domain through the website More data sets will also be added as acquired by various payloads, over time.

Chandrayaan-2: India’s second lunar mission

Chandrayaan-2 was the second lunar mission that was developed by ISRO after Chandrayaan-1.

Chandrayaan-2 had failed its soft landing, losing the lander and rover as well as the associated five payloads. However, the orbiter with eight payloads onboard for mapping the lunar surface and the moon’s outer surface has been successful in sending back data and is also expected to be operational for the 7 years after its launch.

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