In an attempt to become a global space power, India is all set to launch Chandraayaan-2 on July 15 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The ultimate aim of Chandrayaan-2 is to land on the moon, and if the soft landing becomes successful, India will emerge as the fourth country ever to land on the lunar surface.
As per reports, Chandrayaan-2 will be landing on the south polar region of earth's natural satellite, and this area is also known as the dark side of the moon or far side of the moon. Interestingly, the dark side of the moon will not be visible from the earth due to tidal locking. Experts believe that landing on the dark side of the moon will help unveil the mysteries surrounding the hidden past of our natural satellite.
Experts at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are planning to conduct detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and an array of other experiments on the lunar surface. Earlier, Chandrayaan-1 had detected water molecules on the moon, and this second mission, after landing on the lunar surface will study more about the distribution of water across the space body.
It should be noted that China's Chang'e-4 was the first space probe to land on the dark side of the moon. ISRO believes that the South Polar region of the moon could have cold traps, and could contain fossil record of the early solar system, which will help humans to know more about the history of cosmic evolution.
"The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System. Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft land the lander -Vikram and rover- Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south," wrote ISRO on their website.
In the meantime, several conspiracy theorists have started claiming that the Indian lunar probe may encounter aliens on the dark side of the moon. As per these conspiracy theorists, aliens are secretly living on the moon, and space agencies like NASA are aware of their existence.