Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, would be launched on July 15, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan announced on Wednesday. The landing on the moon near the South Pole, an uncharted territory so far, would be on September 6 or 7, Sivan told reporters, as the Indian space agency is all set to embark on its most complex mission. Chandrayaan-2 will have three modules, Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Dr K Sivan said that as the mission date approaches, there is a nervous excitement as this is the most complex mission ever to be undertaken by India’s space agency that costs under Rs. 1000 crore.
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The spacecraft, with an estimated weight of 3.8 tonnes, will attempt a soft landing on the moon, adding to the complexity of the mission. If successful, India will join the US, the former Soviet Union, and China—the only three other nations to have achieved the feat so far. Chandrayaan-2 is expected to take a total of 58 days post launch in various stages of orbit for the modules to reach the moon and an additional four days to land near the south polar region. Orbiter would have eight payloads, Lander three and Rover two. The mission cost of Chandrayaan-2 with regard to the satellite was Rs 603 crore, he noted. The cost of GSLV MK III is Rs 375 crore. Chandrayaan 2 will leave an imprint of the Asoka Chakra and ISRO symbol on the moon. 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.
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