Chandrayaan 2 will be launched in July, says ISRO

Katie Ramirez
May 4, 2019

The moon landing is likely to be around September 6, 2019, almost two months after the launch, ISRO said.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is pegging the launch of its second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, between July 9 and July 19 after having cancelled the mission four times in the past. The landing on the lunar surface is expected to be by 6 September and ISRO plans to include a lander, an orbiter and a rover to land.

The landing site on the moon, which is yet unnamed, is close to the South Pole in the vicinity of the impactor from Chandrayaan-1 that crashed on the surface and was able to contribute to the discovery of water on the moon.

The Chandrayaan 2 will be the first ever mission in the world to explore the South Pole of the moon. India nearly lost the race to Israel to become the fourth country in the world after Russia, US and China to land the spacecraft on the moon. An official statement released on Twitter said Isro is looking for a mid-July launch for the lunar mission.

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The space mission will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. "The rover is housed inside the lander", it added. It would be accommodated inside the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MK-III, a three stage launch vehicle equipped to lift heaviest satellites into orbit. "Further, the Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface", ISRO said. The rover, lander and orbiter will also be carrying out scientific experiments and all the data will be relayed back to the Earth station.

After launching into earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module.

While the orbiter of the spacecraft will go around the moon, the Vikram lander will land on the lunar surface and remain stationed as a base. It operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95% of its planned objectives.

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