ISRO Chairman prays at Tirumala for success of Chandrayaan-2

The Rs 1,000-crore orbiter-lander-rover mission would reach an orbit about 100 km from the Moon in the first week of September

The Rs 1,000-crore orbiter-lander-rover mission would reach an orbit about 100 km from the Moon in the first week of September

"Chandrayaan 2 (is) a technologically challenging mission requires multi-faceted developments of various new systems for the first time with a very high level of perfection", said P. Kunhikrishnan, Director, U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), ISRO.

The mission includes a GSLV Mk III rocket to launch the probe, a 1.4-tonne lander Vikram landing module, and a solar energy-powered, 27 -kilo Rover Prayan lunar vehicle. The launch will take place from an island off India's southeastern coast and aims to explore the moon's unchartered south polar region.

Science news portal, phys.org says "India will step up the global space race on Monday when it launches a low-priced mission to become only the fourth country to land a probe on the Moon".

India is set to launch Chandrayaan-2, the nation's second lunar landing mission on July 15 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The GSLV Mk III rocket will launch the Chandrayaan 2 into outer space. The engine onboard the orbiter will also be used for maintaining this orbit during the course of the mission. The first launch was when the GSLV-Mk III-D1 successfully placed GSAT-19 satellite to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) from Sriharikota on June 5, 2017.

Chairman K. Sivan on Saturday prayed at Tirumala temple here for the success of second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, which is set for launch on July 15. In April, an unmanned Israeli craft crashed into the moon in a failed attempt at the first privately funded lunar landing.

If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will now reach the moon by early September.

"Chandryaan 2 is going to an area that no country before has reached".

The ISRO Chandrayaan-2 mission was approved in 2008 and tests for the landing mission began in 2016.

To do this, the rover will carry a lot of state-of-the-art instrumentation like cameras, an alpha proton X-ray spectrometer and a laser-induced ablation spectroscopy experiment. The first, also with the same name as the overall mission, is the orbiter. "In addition, South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System", the agency has said. At about 3,877 kg, the spacecraft weighs almost four times its predecessor, Chandrayaan 1. "Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires further studies on the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface and in the tenuous lunar exosphere to address the origin of water on Moon".

The presence of water on the Moon was later confirmed by missions conducted by NASA and many other space agencies. "This is the rocket that is going to carry our Chandrayaan 2 to the mid-orbit", Somnath said in a video shared by ISRO.

How will the mission study the moon?

The rover moves on six wheels and once let down on the moon, can travel about 500 m from the lander.

Lunar south pole an ideal spot for future landing missions: The lunar south pole is of special interest to scientists because of the occurrence of water ice in permanently shadowed areas around it.

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