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article imageIndia prepares for launch of Chandrayaan-2 moon mission

By Karen Graham     Jul 12, 2019 in Technology
India is preparing for the launch on Sunday of its second unmanned lunar mission -Chandrayaan 2. The mission aims to land a rover near the moon's south pole for the first time ever.
According to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota on-board the GSLV Mk-III on Monday, July 15, 2019.
It will “boldly go where no country has ever gone before,” ISRO said in a statement, reports the Associated Press. The $141 million Chandrayaan-2 mission will analyze minerals, map the moon’s surface and search for water.
India is the world's fifth-largest economy and is eager to show off its technological prowess in the revitalized space race, so far dominated by the U.S., Russia, and China. India also plans on sending humans into space by 2022, making it only the fourth nation to do so.
Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) mission comprising an orbiter and a so...
Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) mission comprising an orbiter and a soft lander carrying a rover.
The ISRO has chosen a site near the moon's south pole for its attempted soft-landing. Water has been detected in some of the permanently shadowed craters. This mission is a follow-up to Chandrayaan 1, launched in October 2008. In that almost year-long successful mission, an impact probe struck the moon’s south pole in a controlled manner.
Chandrayaan-2 rover
Chandrayaan-2 rover
Details of the Chandrayaan-2 Mission
India's launch vehicle is the GSLV Mk-III. This three-stage rocket is the nation's most powerful launch vehicle and consists of two S200 solid rocket boosters, an L110 liquid stage, and a C25 upper stage. After the initial launch of Chandrayaan-2 into Earth Parking Obit (EPO), the firing of its onboard engines will send the spacecraft hurtling toward the moon.
A series of maneuvers will be carried out to raise its orbit and put Chandrayaan-2 on Lunar Transfer Trajectory. It will then be inserted into a lunar trajectory orbit. Once within the moon's sphere of influence, on-board thrusters will slow down the spacecraft for Lunar Capture.
Diagram of expected lunar mission
Diagram of expected lunar mission
The lander, known as "Vikram," will touch down on the lunar surface on September 6. The rover, known as "Pragyan," will roll out and carry out experiments on the Lunar surface for a period of one Lunar day which is equal to 14 Earth days.
There are several science payloads that will help to expand our knowledge of the moon through a detailed study of topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics of topsoil and composition of the lunar atmosphere. The aim of this research is to give us a new understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon.
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