Hyderabad, Oct 25: ISRO’s second rendezvous with the heavenly object moon will be soon as the space agency is set to launch its next lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in March 2018. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has started the flight integration activity for the March 2018 lunar mission.

“Things are going on. The orbiter is getting ready. Flight integration activity is going on, and a series of tests are planned for lander and rover. They are all in progress and we are working towards the first quarter (of 2018) launch of Chandrayaan-2,” Isro chairman AS Kiran Kumar told PTI. (Also Read: India to Witness Launch of Two Moon Missions in 2018)

HERE’S ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ISRO’S SECOND TRYST WITH MOON

India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, will follow the space steps of Chandrayaan-1, which was launched in 2008.

However, Chandrayaan-2 is said to be an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1.

The space mission will be taken to the moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle called GSLV-Mk II.

Unlike Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2 will softly land its lander with the rover to conduct further scientific studies. (Also Read: NASA Scientists Map Water on Moon’s Surface With Help of Chandrayaan-1)

Chandrayaan-2 is a model consisting of the orbiter, lander, and rover.

The lunar rover is about 20 kilograms in weight. It will function solely on solar power.

The rover is fitted with six wheels which will help it navigate across the moon collecting rock and soil samples. The tests include “soil mixing exercise”. (Also Read: NASA finds India’s lost Chandrayaan-1 orbiting Moon)

A mobility test will be conducted to evaluate the rover’s wheel-soil interaction.

After the Chandrayaan lands, on the moon, the rover will come out of the mission to make some “in-situ” observations.

The ISRO team will be able to get the observations through radio contact.

“It is a totally Indian mission; no other collaboration,” Kumar said, adding, “Chandrayaan-2 differs from the previous one in the sense that in the last one, we had moon impact probe that descended on the moon in an uncontrolled manner, whereas this will carry a lander, which will descend on the surface of the moon in a controlled manner.”