New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided to invite visitors to watch the live launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII (GSLV Mk-III) at the Launch Viewing Gallery in Sriharikota, stated an official notification. Those interested in the event can register their names at the official website of ISRO once the online registrations are made available.

The GSLV Mk-III which is part of the Chandrayaan 2 Moon mission is scheduled to carry the Orbiter, Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover to the Moon in order to conduct several tests. The nation’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will have 13 payloads and a passive experiment from American space agency NASA, said ISRO.

The spacecraft with a mass of 3.8 tonnes has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). Earlier in the month, the space organisation said that all the modules are getting ready for Chandrayaan-2 launch during the window of July 9 to July 16, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on September 6.

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 rover is housed inside the lander.

After the launch into earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using orbiter propulsion module. Subsequently, the lander will separate from the orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to the lunar South Pole.

Chandrayaan-2 mission is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission about 10 years ago. Chandrayaan-1 had 11 payloads- five from India, three from Europe, 2 from USA and 1 from Bulgaria, and the mission had the credit for the discovery of water on the lunar surface. The 1.4-tonne spacecraft was launched using PSLV and the orbiter had orbited 100 km from the lunar surface.

(With agency inputs)