India plans Chandrayaan-2 mission in July: Key things to know

Pablo Tucker
May 4, 2019

Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday announced that it is looking to launch Chandrayaan 2, the second lunar mission of the country in July. The landing of the craft near the lunar south pole would be historically significant as it would give ISRO the opportunity to name that site on the moon. The moon landing is likely to be around September 6, 2019, almost two months after the launch.

The country's first mission, Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008 and was terminated a year early after scientists lost contact with the unmanned orbiting spacecraft.

The launch that wsa supposed to be witnessed in April was postponed for further testing and reconfiguration of the lander.

The National space agency said, Chandrayaan-2 will have three modules in it, an orbiter, a lander named Vikram and a rover known as Pragyan.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan told the reporters that once Vikram lands on Moon on September 6, rover Pragyan will come out of it and roll out on the lunar surface for 300-400 mts.

After launch into earth bound orbit by GSLV MK-2I, the integrated module will reach the Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. The rover of India's second lunar mission, costing almost Rs 800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole. "Once it gets into the lunar orbit and stabilises, the orbit will be reduced slowly to take the payload to a suitable window for decent to the surface", said an Isro official on condition of anonymity.

"The satellite will first be launched into an earth orbit from where it will slowly increase and move towards the moon". The data will be relayed to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which will piggyback on the same launch.

The mission will be launched on a GSLV Mk-III rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota, as per the reports by a news source. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95% of its planned objectives.

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