India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, to be launched on July 15

Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander revealed at ISRO Satellite Integration and Testing Establishment facility in Bengaluru

Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander revealed at ISRO Satellite Integration and Testing Establishment facility in Bengaluru

The Indian Space Research Organisation said on Wednesday it will launch its second mission to the moon - Chandrayaan-2 - on July 15 in a mission that it said would be the most complex operation ever to be undertaken by the space agency.

ISRO chairman K Sivan told the Times of India newspaper: "Once Vikram lands on the lunar surface on September 6, rover Prayan will come out of it and roll out on the lunar surface for 300-400 metres". It will be powered by India's biggest indigenous GSLV Mk-III rocket.

Chandrayaan-2, which will be launched at 2.15 am from Sriharikota, includes a lander and a rover for the first time in an Indian space mission.

In this phase, set to happen on September 6 or 7 this year, the lander will slowly descend to a designated spot near the Moon's south pole over 15 minutes. "As there is less sun in the South Pole than the North Pole, there are comparatively more ice and minerals there". He said this while addressing over 150 regional, national and global media persons at Isro headquarters, Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Chandrayaan-2, weighing 3,290g, will be the Asian country's second lunar mission. "It will provide scientific and technological seeds to the future generations". This entire arrangement, called the composite body, will then be accommodated inside the nose cone or payload fairing, also called "heat shield", of the GSLV. The mission featured a lunar orbiter and an impactor but did not perform a landing on the Moon. The spot is located between the craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N. Four hours after it has safely touched down, the lander doors will open to release India's first lunar rover onto the Moon's surface. The orbiter is expected to function for at least a year. "Instruments are also mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments", said ISRO.

Chandrayaan-2 had been due to launch in April 2018 but damage suffered by one of the legs of Vikram during testing pushed that back. This puts the lander in Earth's direct line of sight. Rover is housed inside Lander.

The launch mass of the spacecraft will be 3,877 kg.

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The Lander, named after the father of the Indian space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, will touch down on a rugged lunar surface in the final descent, which, according to Sivan, would be the "most terrifying moment" of the mission.

The 1.4-tonne spacecraft was launched using PSLV and the orbiter had orbited 100 km from the lunar surface.

During the next 16 days, there will be five burns using propellants. Once there, it will make an orbit around the moon for 27 days, before the lander makes an attempt to de-orbit.

Why does it take so long to reach the moon? . However the orbiter will revolve around the moon for a one year period. "We might have landing pictures within 15 minutes". The rover wheels sport symbols: The Ashoka chakra on one side and ISRO's logo on the other. The ISRO chief said the landing site, at about 70 degrees south latitude, is the southernmost for any mission till date.

The first mission, Chandrayaan-1, launched more than a decade ago in 2008 but did not land on the Moon's surface as it was only an orbiting spacecraft.

The mission cost of Chandrayaan-2 with regard to the satellite was Rs 603 crore, he noted.

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