Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Wednesday that its second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on July 22nd (rescheduled from July 15th). After Chandrayaan-1 success which was launched in October 2008, ISRO was acclaimed by many countries Space Research Agencies including NASA.
Chandrayaan-2 which was scheduled to be launched on July 15th at 2:15 am was launched at 2:43 PM IST on Monday, July 22nd, 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Mission and Spacecraft:
Chandrayaan-2 mission spacecraft, with a mass of 3.8 tonnes, has three modules — Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) which makes it the first time in ISRO mission a lander and rover are included.
ISRO has named the lander “Vikram”, after India’s space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai (1919-1971) and rover ‘Pragyan’, which in Sanskrit means wisdom.
The moon landing is planned for September 6th or 7th.
The total cost of the mission is ₹978 crore which includes ₹603 crore for the spacecraft system (the orbiter, lander, rover, navigation, and ground support network) and ₹375 crore for the heavy rocket, GSLV-MKIII with an indigenous cryogenic engine.
The lander and the rover will have the tricolor painted on them. The Ashoka chakra will be imprinted on the wheels of the rover.
Mission, Objective and Research:
According to the ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon. The Lander will make a soft landing on the moon at a predetermined site and deploy Rover.
ISRO aims to put the Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) on the lunar surface on September 7, just one day behind the earlier schedule, to make sure that both get their planned full schedule of operating for nearly 14 Earth Days by tweaking the Chandrayaan-2’s timelines in space when it travels from one phase to another.
The scientific payloads onboard Orbiter, Lander and Rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.
The Orbiter and Lander modules would be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle. Rover is housed inside Lander.
After the launch into an earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module would reach the moon orbit using the orbiter propulsion module and subsequently, Lander would separate from Orbiter and soft-land at the predetermined site, close to the lunar South Pole, the ISRO said.
Rover would roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface, it said, noting that instruments were also mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments.
Chandrayaan-1 had 11 payloads — five from India, three from Europe, two from the US and one from Bulgaria — and the mission had the credit for the discovery of water on the lunar surface.
The 1.4-tonnes spacecraft was launched using PSLV and the orbiter had orbited 100 km from the lunar surface till August 28, 2009.