Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan addresses a press conference to announce the launch date of India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, at Antariksh Bhavan in Bengaluru, on Wednesday, . The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle while the Rover is housed inside the Lander.
After the launch into an earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module would reach the Moon orbit using the orbiter propulsion module, and subsequently, the lander would separate from the orbiter and soft-land at the predetermined site, close to the lunar South Pole. The landing window is likely to be between September 6 and 7 because that is the beginning of a lunar day and scientific experiments will be conducted during this period. He added that a NASA instrument for LASER ranging will also be carried for free.
If the soft landing is successful, India will be the fourth country to land on the moon. They were revealed at the ISRO Satellite Integration and Testing Establishment facility in Bengaluru. After four more days, the lander will land in a hard manouevre that lasts 15 minutes.
"The cost of Chandrayaan II Mission, mainly the satellite portion, including the support from foreign agencies as well as for navigation goal, is Rs. 603 crore", he said. The sixth Imaging Infra-Red Spectrometer (IIRS) of NASA, the only foreign payload, will be a part of the Orbiter.
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The Chandrayaan-2 was originally planned as a collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos space agency, but in 2013 India scrapped the tie-up due to technical differences with the Russian programme. The Chandrayaan-2 mission is estimated to cost about $87 million. The rover is expected to send data through the lander.
From the time of Lander landing on the surface to theRover to come out and land on the surface will take four hours, according to him.
Upon launch, the GSLV rocket will travel east for 15 minutes and release the spacecraft into an eccentric orbit of 178 x 38,000 km. Sivan explained that one side of the rover wheel has Asoka chakra and other has ISRO symbol that will be imprinted on the moon as it rover moves on the moon's surface.
"It is going to be the most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO", chairman K. Sivan was quoted as saying by local media.
Chandrayaan-2 will be India's first planetary mission to be led by two women - the project director is design engineer Vanitha Muthayaa, and the mission director is Ritu Karidhal, who was formerly the deputy operations director of Mars Orbiter Mission.