India set to launch second lunar mission; land rover on the moon

Nellie Chapman
June 13, 2019

Once in this stable orbit, the lander will separate from the orbiter and move into a 30 x 100 km orbit, where it will be parked for four days during which ISRO will perform checks on it.

The landing on the moon near the South Pole, an uncharted territory so far, would be on September 6 or 7, Sivan told reporters here, as the Indian space agency is all set to embark on its most complex mission. "Within 15 minutes GSLV Mk III will inject the composite body in the extrinsic orbit", he said.

The ISRO had earlier kept the launch window for the mission from July 9 to July 16. If successful, it would be the first ever spacecraft to land in that region.

The cost of Chandrayaan 2 Mission mainly the satellite portion, including the support from foreign agencies as well as for navigation goal, is Rs. 603 crore, Dr Sivan added.

According to him, there is both convenience and science involved for choosing the South Pole. Scientifically, this part is expected to have a higher presence of water and minerals, the Indian space agency's chief said.

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

If the soft landing is successful, India will be the fourth country to land on the moon.

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Desi message on the moon Science apart, Chandrayaan 2 will leave an imprint of the Asoka Chakra and ISRO symbol on the moon. After Chandrayaan I mission, we are now entering into Chandrayaan II mission. "For one full lunar day, the lander and rover will be functioning and will carry out scientific experiments". The mission cost ISRO Rs 603 crore from start to finish.

The mission costs ₹603 crore for the spacecraft system and ₹375 crore for the launcher, a GSLV-MKIII.

According to the ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon. The lander would soft-land on the Moon at a predetermined site and deploy the rover.

The Orbiter and Lander will be able to communicate with earth directly while the Rover will share information, images and data to the Lander which inturn will shared with ISRO. "It will utilise the GSLV Mk-III [Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III] launch vehicle, which is the most powerful launcher we have used till date", he added. At least two of them will land on the moon's South Pole and conduct research.

After its launch, it will take a total of 58 days in various stages of orbits for the components to reach the moon and an additional four days to land near the south pole.

Chandrayaan-2 will be India's first planetary mission to be led by two women - the project director is design engineer Vanitha Muthayaa, and the mission director is Ritu Karidhal, who was formerly the deputy operations director of Mars Orbiter Mission.

Chandrayaan-1 had 11 payloads -five from India, three from Europe, two from the United States and one from Bulgaria - and the mission had the credit for discovery of water on the lunar surface.

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