Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday confirmed the new launch date of the lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 to July 22. The news comes after the space agency rectified the ‘minor’ technical snag in Cryogenic Upper Stage of GSLV-MkIII, which had forced authorities to call off Chandrayaan-2 mission this Monday. (Also read: ‘Chandrayaan-2 Cheaper Than Avengers Endgame,’ Says Foreign Media)
The spacecraft has to reach the desired orbit burning less fuel and allow lander and rover to conduct experiments for a maximum period of one full Moon day, which is equivalent to 14 Earth days.
This 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. Besides, Chandrayaan-2 carries a total of 14 payloads — 13 from India and one passive payload from NASA — with special focus on mapping craters in the polar region, besides checking for water again. What Chandrayaan-2 mission aims to achieve, a touchdown near Moon’s south pole, has been managed by only one other mission, China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft.
The orbiter will orbit 100 km from the lunar surface, while lander (Vikram) will do the soft landing near the south pole of the moon, and Rover (Pragyan) will conduct in-situ experiments. 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, said ISRO.
Notably, the Chandrayaan-2 mission is led by two women scientists Muthayya Vanitha, who is the Project Director and Ritu Karidhal, Mission Director. The mission would place India among the top four lunar pioneers, the others being the US, Russia and China.