ISRO gets ready for second moon mission

Clay Curtis
July 22, 2019

India will attempt to send its spacecraft to the Moon on Monday after it was forced to cancel last week's scheduled launch at the last minute.

The Rs 978-crore Chandrayaan-2 Project will launch India into a club of nations that have successfully landed spacecraft on the moon - the US, Russia and China.

"The expert committee identified the root cause of the technical snag and all corrective actions are implemented".

The actual landing will happen on September 6, as originally scheduled, or in the early hours of September 7.

He said that Chandrayaan-2 will be landing on the moon very slowly.

This is the sequel to Chandrayaan-1, an ISRO mission that launched 11 years ago featuring only a lunar orbiter. If successful, it will join China, Russia and the U.S. as the only countries to land a spacecraft on the moon. The Lunar Bound Phase (LBN), which under the previous launch schedule was to have taken 28 days has now shrunk to just 13, between Day 30 and Day 42 after lift-off. NASA is also hitching a ride on the lunar lander with a laser retroreflector, a device that can help measure the distance between the Earth and Moon.

"There will be 15 terrifying minutes for scientists once the lander is released and is hurled towards the south pole of the Moon", Dr Sivan said.

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The mission, which carries a total of 13 payloads, including three from the Europe, two from the United States and one Bulgaria, seeks to improve understanding of the Moon which could lead to discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole.

ISRO notes that Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft land the lander - Vikram and rover - Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70 degrees south.

Veteran scientists heaped praise on ISRO for calling off the launch rather hurrying into a major disaster.

The snag took place when liquid propellant was being loaded in the rocket's indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine.

President Ram Nath Kovind was present here on July 15 to witness the launch.

The launch of Chandryaan-2 had missed its date earlier too when it was fixed for the first week of January. "The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here that remains in shadow are much larger than that at the North Pole. Thereafter, the system performance is normal", it said. "Thank you for giving us more than enough of the latter", Isro said last week thanking people for supporting its decision.

Then the 27-kg "Pragyan" meaning "wisdom" in Sanskrit and a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface. It is created to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.

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