ISRO has announced the launch date for India’s second moon mission, Chandrayan-2, powered by GSLV Mk-3. The launch will take place early morning at 2:51 am on July 15 (Monday) and the landing is expected on September 6 or 7. ISRO says it is following the same launch strategy that was followed for Chandrayaan 1.
“We are expecting to find water. We never left any stone unturned and we’ve conducted thousands of tests,” says ISRO .
The space agency also revealed that one rover wheel will have Ashoka Chakra and the rover and lander will have the tricolour.
The total mass of the mission is 3.8 tonnes, said ISRO and it costs Rs 603 crore.
“Chandrayan-2 will land near Moon’s South Pole. It will take 15 minutes to land and will be the most terrifying moment because ISRO has never undertaken such a flight,” said ISRO.
ISRO has cited several reasons for selecting Moon’s South Pole; ample solar light required for a mission highly dependent on solar power, the near flat surface with good visibility required for a safe landing and expected higher presence of water and minerals.
“After landing, Rover door will open. This will be the next important moment; it will take four hours from the time of landing to the time rover comes out. We might have landing pictures within 15 minutes,” revealed ISRO.
The rover and the lander will have a life of one lunar day. That is likely to be on September 6 or 7. And for that lunar day it will conduct scientific experiments. The orbiter however has life of one year.
“We will be looking for imaging of rock for elements like magnesium, calcium and iron and also for signs of water. It will also study exosphere of the moon,” ISRO said
While the orbiter and lander will communicate to earth directly, the rover cannot communicate directly because of some power limitations.