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.
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 a ToI report. However, the Vikram lander hasn't fared as well, with multiple design changes and accidents along the way.
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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Updated Date: May 07, 2019 17:44:27 IST