The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 on 15 July at 2:51 am. Announcing the launch date, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said: "We are going to land on the Moon either on 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 will carry out scientific experiments."
The cost of Chandrayaan 2 Mission mainly the satellite portion, including the support from foreign agencies as well as for navigation purpose, is Rs. 603 crore, Dr Sivan added.
The ISRO also shared the first pictures of Chandrayaan-2 the lander and orbiter at its Satellite Integration and Testing establishment in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Chandrayaan 2 has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and 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 while the Rover is housed inside the Lander.
After launching into earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. Subsequently, Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole.
Further, the Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface. Instruments are also mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments.
The scientific experiments include finding water and special minerals on the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry 11 payloads – six from India, three from Europe, two from USA. GSLV MKIII, which will be carrying house the moon lander, weighs 3.8 tonnes.
Chandrayaan-2 comes 10 years after ISRO launched its first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, in 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor but didn`t include a rover like Chandrayaan-2.