This weekend, India successfully launched into orbit two British earth observation satellites, NovaSAR and S1-4. Following the launch, ISRO Chief K Sivan spoke about series of launches that are lined up for the following months, and Chandryaan 2 is one of them.
"Chandrayaan-2 is planned for a window from 3 January to 16 February 2019, that we are targeting. It can happen anytime during that window. But we are aiming for the beginning of the window, 3 January," said Sivan while addressing the media, according to various reports.
The lunar mission comes over a decade after India went up to the lunar orbit in November 2008 with the launch of Chandrayaan-1 onboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota.
Chandrayaan-2, which weighs 3,890-kg, will be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3. It will orbit around the moon and study its lunar conditions to collect data on its topography, mineralogy and exosphere.
When ISRO was questioned about the certifying agency for the rocket that would carry Indian astronauts, Sivan said that ISRO would be the certifying agency. He added that the norms for certification will be drawn with the help of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation; and that ISRO would like to get the expertise of other countries in this regard.
This is the first time that India will have a rover landing on the moon nearly 50 years after American astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the eerie lunar surface in 1969.
ISRO will launch three more satellites to provide high-speed bandwidth connectivity to rural areas as part of the government's Digital India programme.