As the ISRO successfully launched Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon on Monday, there was jubilation across India, and the euphoria was definitely more in Assam.

After GSLVMkIII-M1 successfully injects Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into Earth Orbit, ISRO chief K Sivan said, “I salute to all those involved in the launch of Chandrayaan-2.”

Amongst those responsible for Chandrayaan-2 successful launch, Assam’s J.N. Goswami’s role is definitely worth mentioning. He is the chairman of the advisory board for Chandrayaan-2 mission.

The Rs 978-crore Moon mission was launched from the second launch-pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, in Andhra Pradesh.

Goswami was the principal scientist of India’s first moon mission Chandrayaan 1. The mission had succeeded in tracing water molecules on the moon for the first time ever.

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India’s second Moon odyssey comes 11 years after ISRO’s successful first lunar mission Chandrayaan 1, which had created history by creating as many as 3,400 orbits around Moon.

For the launch of Chandrayaan-2, Goswami was totally involved with the team, guiding them at every step. “We have put our signature on the Moon,” he says.

The Chandrayaan-2, which will now go to the Moon’s south-polar region, aims to explore its surface for the signs of water and possibly new origins of energy.

Goswami’s planetary obsession goes back to much before India’s first mission to moon was launched successfully on October 22, 2008, from Sriharikota.

He did his MSc from Gauhati University, and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai to study lunar samples. Later, he joined the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad.

Goswami worked on astrophysics, space and planetary sciences. His works focuses on the origin and the early evolution of the solar system, the moon, asteroids and meteorites.

His study of meteoroid grains proved that the sun was 1,000 to 10,000 times stronger about 4.5 billion years ago than now.

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