First glimpses of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander

Lester Mason
June 13, 2019

According to a statement issued by ISRO, Chandrayaan-2, India's second lunar mission, will have three modules - Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan).

The country's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, which Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) announced on Wednesday is to be launched on July 15, will not only unravel the deep mysteries of the Moon but will also take Indian space agency's relations with U.S. counterpart Nasa to a new height. It will take close to close to 50 days for the spacecraft to land on the moon on September 6 or 7.

Chandrayaan 2, India's mission to the Moon will take off on July 15 at 2.51 am, ISRO chairperson Dr K Sivan announced at a press conference Wednesday. "For one full lunar day, the lander and rover will be functioning and carry out scientific experiments", he added.

The orbiter and the lander would be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III.

After launching into earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module.

Once it touches down, the rover will carry out experiments while being controlled remotely by ISRO scientists.

India had been competing against Israel to become the fourth country ever to achieve a soft landing on the moon, and had been in danger of losing out.

"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".

"The cost of Chandrayaan II Mission, mainly the satellite portion, including the support from foreign agencies as well as for navigation objective, is Rs. 603 crore", he said.

According to ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon. These payloads are expected to analyse the water on the lunar surface, monitor lunar quakes, dig and study minerals and more.

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.

When at a height of 150 x 1,41,000 km, the spacecraft will perform translunar burn and shoot towards the moon, coasting for five days and covering a distance of 3.85 lakh km.

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. 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. At least two of them will land on the moon's South Pole and conduct research.

The announcement of the launch dates come nearly 11 years after prime minister Manmohan Singh approved the lunar mission on 18 September 2008. When the mission had originally been approved in 2008, the cost was Rs 425 crore, excluding the launch costs and cost of the lander.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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