Sunday, 17 November, 2019

Chandrayaan-2 to be launched on July 15, says Isro chief

Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander revealed at ISRO Satellite Integration and Testing Establishment facility in Bengaluru Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter and Lander. Image credit Tech2
Patty Aguilar | 12 June, 2019, 21:40

The Indian Space Research Organisation announced on Thursday that India's much-awaited second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 will be launched between on July 15.

This comes 10 years after India's first lunar mission, the Chandrayaan 1, in 2009.

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Soft-landing on the south pole of the moon, a territory that has never been visited by any spacecraft, is considered the most challenging part of the mission.

Once Chandrayaan 2 reaches the moon's orbit, it will revolve around the moon for 27 days to de-orbit the lander on its surface.

Sivan said that because the lander has to perform a soft landing and not crash on the lunar surface, it makes Chandrayaan-2 the "most complex mission" so far.

Lander would soft land on the moon at a predetermined site and deploy the Rover.

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

All together, the instruments will study the chemical composition of the lunar surface up to a depth of few tens of metres, its thermal characteristics, surface plasma, distribution of minerals, the lunar exosphere, quakes on the Moon, etc. Once separated it will orbit for four days before reaching the 100kmx30km orbit.

Chandrayaan-2 will be India's first planetary mission to be led by two women - the project director is design engineer Vanitha Muthayaa, and the mission director is Ritu Karidhal, who was formerly the deputy operations director of Mars Orbiter Mission.

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Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), arrives to attend a news conference at its headquarters in Bengaluru, India, June 12, 2019.

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 rover will move at the speed of 1 cm per second", Sivan added.

The total mission cost is thus Rs 978 crore, up from the Rs 800 crore reported in 2018.

The ISRO also shared the first pictures of Chandrayaan-2 the lander and orbiter at its Satellite Integration and Testing establishment in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Once it touches down, the rover will carry out experiments while being controlled remotely by ISRO scientists.

According to ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon.

The Rover will roll out and carry out scientific experiments on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-1 had 11 payloads - five from India, three from Europe, two from the U.S. and one from Bulgaria - and the mission had the credit for discovery of water on the lunar surface.

The 1.4 tonne spacecraft was launched using PSLV and the orbiter had orbited 100 km from the lunar surface.

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