Chandrayaan-2 mission launch on July 15: ISRO

After July 15 launch, Chandrayaan-2 to land on September 6, 7 

 ISRO personnel busy in final stage checking of Chandrayan-2 orbiter and lander at ISRO Satelite Integration and testing establishment in Bengaluru. DH photo by Krishnakumar P S

Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) second mission to the moon will launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, during the early hours of July 15 at 2.51 am.

 The landing on the lunar South Pole, which is the trickiest aspect of the mission, will be either September 6 or 7, according to K Sivan, chairman, ISRO. It will take a total of 42 to 43 days for the lander of Chandrayaan-2 to travel from earth to its designated landing spot.

Chandrayaan-2 will consist of an orbiter, lander named Vikram and rover named Pragyan. While the orbiter will consist of eight payloads, the lander will have three and rover will have two payloads for mapping and various experiments on the lunar surface. The composite body of Chandrayaan-2 will weigh a total of 3.8 tonnes and will be launched using the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle.

Explaining the launch schedule of the mission, Sivan said that following the launch on July 15, it would take around 16 days to raise the composite body to higher orbits. After it reaches a specified orbit, translunar burn will be initiated around August 1 to move the body towards a lunar orbit. The translunar burn will be for a period of five days, Sivan said.

Once Chandrayaan-2 reaches the moon's orbit, it will revolve around it for 27 days, during which manoeuvres to separate the lander and orbiter from the composite body will be carried out. Subsequently, ISRO would initiate the de-orbiting manoeuvre for the Vikram lander, inside which the Pragyan rover is placed.

"From the commencement of de-orbiting to touch down on the lunar surface, it will take around five days," he said. During the period, various tests will be carried out by ISRO to assess the fitness of the lander and rover. The propulsion system of the lander will break its velocity in a controlled fashion and land near the South pole, Sivan said.

Experiments

Sivan said that payloads aboard the orbiter will map major elements present on the lunar surface, study minerals, water molecules and generate a 3D map to study the lunar mineralogy. The lander payloads will study moon-quakes near the landing site, moons' thermal properties and measure the density and variation of lunar surface plasma.

The total cost of Chandrayaan-2, which included navigation services from foreign agencies, was Rs 603 cr. Coupled with the launcher cost of Rs 375 cr, the combined cost of the mission will be Rs 978 cr.
 

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