With a vision to harness space technology for national development, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch its ambitious lunar mission 'Chandrayaan-2' on Monday i.e. July 15, 2019, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota. The mission attempts to foster a new age of discovery, expand India's footprint in space, stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances, and inspire a future generation of explorers and scientists.
The mission will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan-1, such as the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface and in the tenuous lunar exosphere. Chandrayaan-1 was India's first mission to the moon. It was launched by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C11 on October 22, 2008, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.
Here are the key facts about the Chandrayaan-2 mission:
- Chandrayaan-2 is a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 Mission.
- It is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's south polar region.
- India is the fourth country ever to soft-land on the lunar surface.
- The cost of Chandrayaan II Mission, mainly the satellite portion, including the support from foreign agencies as well as for navigation purpose, is Rs. 603 crore.
- It is the first Indian mission to explore the lunar terrain with home-grown technology. Chandrayaan 2 is the most advanced spacecraft developed by India yet.
- It will take nearly two months to land on the moon at the South Pole
Components - Spacecraft and launcher
Chandryaan-2 will be launched using Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), India's most powerful launcher to date, and has been completely designed and fabricated from within the country.
According to the ISRO, at the time of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be capable of communicating with Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu as well as the Vikram Lander. It carries 8 scientific payloads for mapping lunar surface and to study the moon's atmosphere. The mission life of the Orbiter is one year and it will be placed in a 100X100 km lunar polar orbit.
Image Credit: ISRO
Named after Dr. Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme, the Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram is designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days. Vikram has the capability to communicate with IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore, as well as with the Orbiter and Rover. The Lander is designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface. The soft landing of the Vikram lander on the Moon's surface is likely to be on September 06, 2019.
Chandrayaan 2's Rover is a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit. It can travel up to 500 m (½-a-km) and leverages solar energy for its functioning. It can only communicate with the Lander.
Image Credit: ISRO
According to the ISRO, 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° south.
— ISRO (@isro) July 14, 2019