Only one of three Chandrayaan-2 modules are mission-ready ahead of launch: ISRO

Chandrayaan-2 is the ISRO's first mission with a planned lander & rover on the lunar surface.

tech2 News Staff May 07, 2019 16:45:12 IST
Only one of three Chandrayaan-2 modules are mission-ready ahead of launch: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation released the dates for India's second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2, on 1 May. The spacecraft — an orbiter, lander and rover, will be launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII rocket between 9-16 July 2019, according to ISRO Chairman K Sivan. But so far, only one of the three modules of the mission is mission-ready, with plenty more to do before ISRO's launch window opens in under 60-days' time.

Between the orbiter, lander and rover modules in the mission, only the orbiter has gone through its testing, now awaiting the planned launch date, according to a report in the Times of India.

Only one of three Chandrayaan2 modules are missionready ahead of launch ISRO

The Chandrayaan-2 mission's Pragyan Rover during a mobility test in 2018. Image courtesy: ISRO

The Chandrayaan-2 mission is the first time ISRO will build a lander and rover for the lunar surface. The Orbiter, on the other hand, is something the agency has successfully engineered in the earlier Chandrayaan-1 mission launched in 2008.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission's rover, named Pragyaan, has seen a hassle-free transition from blueprints to testing, according to ToI report. However, the Vikram lander hasn't fared as well, with multiple design changes and accidents along the way.

Only one of three Chandrayaan2 modules are missionready ahead of launch ISRO

Configuration of the Chandrayaan-2 mission rover, lander and orbiter. Image: ISRO

In a press release, ISRO said that the Orbiter and Lander modules of Chandrayaan-2 will be stacked together as an integrated module and fit into the GSLV Mk-III rocket. The rover will be tucked away inside the Lander, which is named Vikram.

Once the spacecraft has been launched into Earth's orbit by the GSLV, the Chandrayaan-2 integrated module will be released. This spacecraft has its own Orbiter propulsion module which will power the vehicle's escape out of Earth's orbit and into the Moon's.

Chandrayaan-2 will be India's second mission to the moon, and the first to attempt a soft landing. It is a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-1, which launched in October 2008 and helped provide the first confirmation of water (in the form of hydroxyl ions) on the moon in 2009.

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