Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 15: ISRO

The first glimpse of the lander and the orbiter. Image credit Tech2

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on Wednesday, announced that the ambitious Chandrayaan 2, India's second mission to the Moon, is scheduled for lift off on 15 July at 02.51 hrs. It will be powered by India's biggest indigenous GSLV Mk-III rocket.

Chandrayaan 2 has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan).

India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan 2 has three modules: the Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and the Rover (Pragyan). Subsequently, Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole. "As there is less sun in the South Pole than the North Pole, there are comparatively more ice and minerals there".

"We have left no stone unturned to make the lunar soft landing a success", Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, the country's equivalent to NASA, told reporters at the headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.

Pointing out Chandrayaan 2 is going to South Pole, a place where nobody else has gone, Sivan said the entire scientific community of the nation and the globe were eagerly waiting for the mission.

For the mission, Chandrayaan 2's payload will have 14 instruments. "It will provide scientific and technological seeds to the future generations".

ISRO said: "The orbiter and lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle". The mission featured a lunar orbiter and an impactor but did not perform a landing on the Moon.

"By the time it lands on the moon's surface, it will be September 6th or 7th, as we might have to do minor adjustments", he said. "For one full lunar day, the lander and rover will be functioning and carry out scientific experiments", he added. "Instruments are also mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments", ISRO earlier said in a statement.

Chandrayaan-2 would have 13 payloads and one passive experiment from American space agency NASA. This puts the lander in Earth's direct line of sight. GSLV MKIII, which will be carrying house the moon lander, weighs 3.8 tonnes.

The launch mass of the spacecraft will be 3,877 kg.


Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter and Lander.

The lander and the orbiter each consist of 650 kg propellant to manoeuvre and push brakes while attempting to reach their destination.

During the next 16 days, there will be five burns using propellants. After the launch, the satellite will take several weeks before it heads for a much-anticipated soft-landing on the south pole of the moon - a region that has not been visited by any spacecraft, NDTV reported. That isotope is limited on Earth yet so abundant on the moon that it theoretically could meet global energy demands for 250 years if harnessed.

Once there, a series of orbit-lowering burns will bring the stack into a more circular orbit in which it revolves around the Moon once every 24 Earth-hours, a situation it will maintain for four days. "We might have landing pictures within 15 minutes". "It will take four hours from the time of landing to the time rover comes out". Sivan explained that one side of the rover wheel has Asoka chakra and other has ISRO symbol that will be imprinted on the moon as it rover moves on the moon's surface.

"It is the most complex mission ever to be undertaken by ISRO", NDTV quoted Sivan as saying.

Chandrayaan-1 mission was launched about 10 years ago.

The mission cost of Chandrayaan-2 with regard to the satellite was Rs 603 crore, he noted.

Final tests are being conducted on the Orbiter.

Sivan also unveiled the official page for the mission.

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