ISRO to launch India`s second lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 on July 15

Cheryl Sanders
June 12, 2019

While the launch itself will be subject to weather conditions on that day, the announcement hopefully means the delays and deadline postponements are finally at end.

Sivan also unveiled the official page for the mission.

Chandrayaan 2 is expected to be the most complex the organisation has undertaken till date.

The Orbiter will be orbiting around the moon in 100 kmorbit, Sivan said.

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.

Fifteen minutes later, the Chandrayaan 2 stack will be placed in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth.

The Orbiter and Lander will be able to communicate with earth directly while the Rover will share information, images and data to the Lander which inturn will shared with ISRO. To reach the moon's orbit, Chandrayaan 2 will perform a series of Trans Lunar Injection (TLI) burns. It is named Vikram for Vikram Sarabhai, the organisation's founder. He added that the Lander will land either on September 6 or 7.

The space agency had said last month that it was looking at a launch window between July 9 and 15.

The Chandrayaan 2 launch has cost Rs 375 crore. Almost 80% of the organisation's expenditure on the Mk III launcher was incurred by industry, he said. This was because the mission was originally envisaged as a partnership with Russian Federation, which would provide the lander. "Once in the appropriate orbit, the Lander will separate from the orbiter". Further, the Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan 2 will be carrying a total of 13 payloads including eight on the Orbiter, three on the Lander, two on the Rover and one passive experiment from NASA.

"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.

For the mission, Chandrayaan 2's payload will have 14 instruments.

"Chandrayan-2 will land near moon's south pole". They include the Radio Anatomy of Moon-Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and an Atmosphere Probe (Rambha) that will measure the lunar subsurface density and changes.

All the experiment work on the Moon will be controlled by ISRO scientists from the Earth.

Chandrayaan-2 comes 10 years after ISRO launched its first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, in 2009. The mission was created to last for two years but failed after 10 months. It carried 11 instruments in all, of which five were Indian.

Upon launch, the GSLV rocket will travel east for 15 minutes and release the spacecraft into an eccentric orbit of 178 x 38,000 km. The presence of water would be invaluable as missions advance to the next phase: building a station for mission crews.

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