New Delhi: As India gears up for round two of the ambitious moon mission, Chandrayaan-2 is all set for its historic flight to explore the south pole region of Moon. The rocket will be launched at 2:43 PM sharp on Monday from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
If the mission succeeds, India would be placed among the top four lunar pioneers after the US, Russia, and China.
The Rs 978-crore mission, which was originally scheduled to set off at 2.51 AM on July 15 was rescheduled just 56 minutes before the launch due to a technical glitch. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists aborted the mission but took swift remedial actions and announced the re-launch three days ago.
A 20-hour countdown began on Sunday evening at 6:43 PM, the space agency tweeted. “All preparatory work for Chandrayaan-2 launch completed. Technical snags that developed in the first attempt have been rectified. Chandrayaan-2 will perform 15 crucial manoeuvres in days to come,” ISRO chairman K Sivan had informed yesterday.
Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar mission, has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan). The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle.
Interestingly, GSLV MK-III launch vehicle was nicknamed as ‘Bahubali’ after the muscular hero of the successful film with the same title, as the rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-II spacecraft.
India’s first Moon mission Chandrayaan-1 scripted history by making more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009. At that time, it was supposed to be a joint India-Russia mission but was halted owing to the design flaws detected in the Russian lander and rover.