Monday, 19 August, 2019

ISRO to launch Chandrayaan 2 on 15 July

The first glimpse of the lander and the orbiter. Image credit Tech2 The first glimpse of the lander and the orbiter. Image credit Tech2
Steven Clarke | 13 June, 2019, 06:00

"The Chandrayaan 2 Mission contains three components & the composite body of Chandrayaan 2 is kept inside GSLV MK-III", he said, according to ANI.

In a press conference on June 12, K. Sivan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, presented new details of its upcoming Chandrayaan 2 mission to the Moon.

The planned sequence of events on September 6-7 on the Moon, as displayed on the new Chandrayaan 2 page on ISRO's website.

Sivan said that it will be launched using Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III). Subsequently, Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to the lunar South Pole.

"By the time it lands on the moon's surface, it will be September 6th or 7th, as we might have to do minor adjustments", he said. While the orbiter and lander will communicate to earth directly, the rover can not communicate directly because of some power limitations.

India on Wednesday unveiled a spacecraft which is expected to take off for the moon next month, making the country only the fourth to achieve the feat.

"This 15 minutes is going to be terrifying to all of us not only people from ISRO, but for entire India, because the space agency has never undertaken such type of complex flight".

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Stating that Chandrayaan-2 will mainly be about planetary exploration missions, Sivan said, "We are in the same position (scientist) Vikram Sarabhai was 50 years ago when he was asked why India needed a space programme". The sixth Imaging Infra-Red Spectrometer (IIRS) of NASA, the only foreign payload, will be a part of the Orbiter.

The scientific payloads are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-2 had been due to launch in April 2018 but damage suffered by one of the legs of Vikram during testing pushed that back. Rover is housed inside Lander. These are meant to increase the spacecraft's velocity to change its orbit from circular low Earth orbit to reach the vicinity of moon. That isotope is limited on Earth yet so abundant on the moon that it theoretically could meet global energy demands for 250 years if harnessed.

ISRO has scheduled several more missions including the first manned mission to space in 2021, Aditya-L1 or the solar mission in 2021, Mars Orbiter Mission-2 in 2022 and Venus mission in 2023 among others.

This comes 10 years after India's first lunar mission, the Chandrayaan 1, in 2009. It is important for ISRO since this is the very first time the organisation has attempted such a complex mission.

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. When the mission had originally been approved in 2008, the cost was Rs 425 crore, excluding the launch costs and cost of the lander. The Ashoka Chakra will be imprinted on the rover's wheels.

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