Chandrayaan-2 to be launched in April; lunar mission to attempt first-ever landing on moon's south pole
Chandrayaan-2, the lunar mission under which the ISRO will for the first time attempt to land a rover on the moon's south pole, will be launched in April.
New Delhi: Chandrayaan-2, the lunar mission under which the ISRO will for the first time attempt to land a rover on the moon's south pole, will be launched in April, Jitendra Singh, in-charge of the Department of Space said on Friday.
The rover of India's second lunar mission, costing nearly Rs 800 crore, will be made to land near the yet-unexplored south pole, ISRO's newly-appointed chairperson K Sivan said.
"India is going to launch Chandrayaan-2 in April. It is under the Chandrayaan-1 mission that the ISRO spotted water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is a further extension of the project and it is as good as landing a man on the moon," Singh told reporters.
Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO's first inter-planetary mission to land a rover on any celestial body.
Sivan noted that the window to launch the mission is between April and November this year. "The targeted date is April. In case we miss the April date, we will launch it in November," Sivan added.
Citing the reason behind landing the rover near the south pole, Sivan said it is a "very tricky area" with rocks formed a million years ago.
"It has very old rocks. This could possibly help us understand the origin of the universe," he said.
Another reason that he cited behind landing the rover near the south pole was that the area has not been explored by other missions. "Most of the lunar missions in the past have explored the area around the equator of the moon," Sivan added.
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The test was done for the core L110 liquid stage of the human-rated GSLV MkIII vehicle, as part of the engine qualification requirements for the Gaganyaan programme.