Terrain Mapping Camera – 2 (TMC-2) onboard ISRO’s Chandrayaan – 2 captured the Sarabhai Crater on Mare Serenitatis. Mare Serenitatis, which hosts the Sarabhai crater is one of the lunar mare regions on the Moon, with vast lava plains creating a nearly flat surface.
Last month on the 30th of July, Terrain Mapping Camera – 2 (TMC-2) onboard ISRO’s Chandrayaan – 2 captured the Sarabhai Crater on Mare Serenitatis in the northeast quadrant of the Moon. The images were taken as a tribute to the Father of the Indian Space Program, Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai’s birth anniversary on 12th August. ISRO shared this on its Twitter handle.
Mare Serenitatis, which hosts the Sarabhai crater is one of the lunar mare regions on the Moon, with vast lava plains creating a nearly flat surface. The landing site of Apollo 17 and Luna 21 missions is to the east and ~250-300 km of Sarabhai crater.
The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and 3D view of the crater generated using the Fore, Nadir, and Aft images from TMC-2 reveal the average depth of the crater as ~1.7 km from the raised crater rim and average slope of the crater walls is in the range 25-30.
This Sarabhai crater outer region is dominated by numerous smaller craters of varying diameter distributed over the flat Mare plains and is devoid of any large crater (diameter >10 km) in its vicinity (~100 km around). The raised rim, the gradient inner walls, and the small hummocky floor makes the Sarabhai crater an excellent example to understand the impact processes on the lava-filled region of the Moon.
Some interesting facts about Vikram Sarabhai:
- He is the founder of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- The lander on India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-2, Vikram, which was planned to land near the South Pole of the moon on September 20, 2019, was named in his honor.
- He set up the Operations Research Group (ORG), the first market research organization in the country.
- His efforts put the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, in orbit in 1975 from a Russian cosmodrome.
- He served as the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India from 1966 to 1971.
- Sarabhai was honored with Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972 for his contribution to the field of science.