ISRO Carries out Checks at Launch Pad Ahead of Chandrayaan 2 Launch

A dress rehearsal for moon walk: Chandrayaan-2 to reach Moon in September first week

A dress rehearsal for moon walk: Chandrayaan-2 to reach Moon in September first week

The historic flight and its passenger Chandrayan-II is being readied at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota for an early morning launch at 2:51 AM on Monday, an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official told news agency IANS. "#GSLVMkIII carrying #Chandrayaan2 spacecraft, undergoing launch checks at launch pad in Sriharikota".

Chandrayaan 2 will go to Moon's south polar region where no country has ever gone before. The most ambitious lunar mission project, Chandrayaan 2 is all set to launch this weekend.

While the orbiter would image the lunar surface and map minerals on the Moon, the lander, weighing 1,471 kgs, would measure the presence of Moon-quakes and the temperature of the Moon's surface.

The ₹603 crore Chandrayaan-2 consists of three segments - the Orbiter, the lander-Vikram and rover Pragyaan.

Chandrayaan-1 was carried a range of scientific equipments, both Indian and worldwide, to the lunar orbit.

Explaining the reasoning behind choosing to explore the south pole, the ISRO said on its website: 'The lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole.

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China landed its Chang'e 4 lunar craft in January, and spent US$8.4 billion on its entire space programme in 2017, according to worldwide Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development figures.

The chosen landing site is near the lunar south pole, where water ice has been detected in some permanently shadowed craters. It will carry three payloads: a diagnostic tool to understand the lunar ionosphere; an instrument to measure the vertical temperature gradient and thermal conductivity on the lunar surface; and a seismometer to detect minute "ground displacement, velocity and acceleration caused by lunar quakes".

Isro has named the lander "Vikram", after India's space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai (1919-1971) and rover "Pragyan", which in Sanskrit means wisdom.

The 27-kg, six-wheeled rover "Pragyan", fitted with cameras and instruments, would analyse the lunar soil. Two Chandrayaan modules - an orbiter and a lander - will be stacked together inside a launch vehicle equipped to lift heavy satellites into orbit.

According to ISRO, the orbiter will have eight payloads. A set of complex movements will take place in the Lunar Transfer Trajectory for raising its orbit. Once the Indian Spacecraft reaches near our moon, it will remain in orbit for 4 days. A lunar orbit insertion burn will place Chandrayaan-2 into an elliptical orbit and the spacecraft will begin braking to reduce its orbit to a 100-kilometer circle.

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