New Delhi (Sputnik): India on Wednesday announced its most complex space mission ever — its second Moon Mission, "Chandrayaan-2", which is to be launched on 15 July, with an expected Moon landing on 6 September this year.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission is a sequel to the successful Chandrayaan-1 mission that assisted in confirming the presence of water on the moon in 2009.
The mission is expected to help analyse the moon's mineral composition and undertake terrain mapping, said K. Sivan, the chairman of India's space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), while announcing the space mission during a media briefing on Wednesday in India's Bengaluru city.
Addressing reporters during the conference, the ISRO chairman said the total mass of the Chandrayaan 2 system is 3.8 tonnes, and of this, the propeller accounts for nearly 1.3 tonnes of this.
"The day we are going to land is either September 6 or September 7, that day happens to be the beginning of a lunar day. For one full lunar day, the lander and rover will be functioning and carry out scientific experiments," Sivan added.
The space project has three modules — Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan). 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. The Rover is housed inside the Lander. After launch into earth bound orbit by the GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using the Orbiter propulsion module.
Witness the grandeur of Chandrayaan —2 @isro releases the first picture from the facility at Satellite Integration and Testing Establishment (SITE) centre in Bengaluru. ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-2 on July 9th.#Chandrayaan2 #ISRO #ISROMissions pic.twitter.com/AlnJsBbmzU— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) June 12, 2019
"From the 30 km breaking of speed to landing on the Moon's surface will take about 15 minutes and this 15-minute is going to be the most terrifying moment for all of us," said Sivan in Bengaluru, capital of the Indian state of Karnataka."ISRO has never undertaken such a complex flight."
Subsequently, the Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to the lunar South Pole. Further, the Rover will roll out to conduct scientific experiments on the lunar surface.
India successfully launched its first mission to the Moon on 22 October 2009 from its launch pad in Sriharikota. The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.
After initially orbiting the Moon at a height of 100 km for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon, it was raised to 200 km during May 2009. The satellite conducted more than 3,400 orbits of the moon and the mission was concluded when communication with the spacecraft was lost on 29 August 2009.