Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 15: ISRO

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2019

Stating that Chandrayaan-2 will mainly be about planetary exploration missions, Sivan said, "We are in the same position (scientist) Vikram Sarabhai was 50 years ago when he was asked why India needed a space programme".

The mission is scheduled to launch on July 15 aboard ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III. From its launch to the soft landing, the entire mission is set to take about 58 days.

The new spacecraft will have a lander, an orbiter and rover.

Under the almost Rs 1,000 crore mission, the landing on the moon near the South Pole would be on September 6 or 7 on an uncharted territory, ISRO chairman K Sivan said. Once there, it will make an orbit around the moon for 27 days, before the lander makes an attempt to de-orbit. Then we will have the translunar burns to take the composite structure closer to the Moon. The spot is located between the craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N. Four hours after it has safely touched down, the lander doors will open to release India's first lunar rover onto the Moon's surface.

Once it reaches near the moon, the spacecraft will fire again and perform a retro burn to brake against the lunar gravity. These payloads are expected to analyse the water on the lunar surface, monitor lunar quakes, dig and study minerals and more.

"Subsequently the rover will be rowing on the moon on its own propulsion at the speed of 1 cm per second and will cover 500 metres in its lifetime", he added. The entire lifecycle of the Lander and Rover will be one Lunar day (equivalent to 14 earth days) while the orbiter will continue for one whole year.

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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.

The orbiter and lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside GSLV MK-III, the launch vehicle.

The Chandrayaan-2 was originally planned as a collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos space agency, but in 2013 India scrapped the tie-up due to technical differences with the Russian program. They include the Radio Anatomy of Moon-Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and an Atmosphere Probe (Rambha) that will measure the lunar subsurface density and changes.

The cost of GSLV MK IIIis Rs 375 crore.

"Chandrayan-2 will land near moon's south pole". Sivan had said in May this year that the stack would also carry a "passive experiment from NASA", the 14th.

According to ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon. This mission's most significant finding was the presence of water molecules in the lunar soil.

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