Credit: ISRO/Screengrab Inside Outer Space

India is now gearing up for the July launch of Chandrayaan-2, a robotic lunar orbiter/lander/rover combo that is slated to touch down at a predetermined site close to lunar south pole.

According to a statement from the Department of Space of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) the country’s moonshot will fly atop a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MkIII booster during the window of July 9-16 with an expected Moon landing on September 06, 2019.

Credit: ISRO/Screengrab Inside Outer Space

Chandrayaan-2 will be an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission to Moon that flew successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota launch site.

Three modules

As India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 is comprised of three modules, an orbiter, the Vikram lander (named after a former ISRO chairman, Vikram Sarabhai) and the Pragyan rover.

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 Pragyan 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 an orbiter propulsion module. Subsequently, the lander will separate from the orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar south pole.

Credit: ISRO/Screengrab Inside Outer Space



Once deployed, the Pragyan rover will carry out scientific experiments on the lunar surface. Instruments are also mounted on the lander and orbiter for performing science tasks.

India’s Pragyan Moon rover.
Credit: ISRO

There are 13 Indian payloads (8 on the orbiter, three on the lander and two on the rover, along with one passive experiment from NASA – a Laser Retro-reflector Array (LRA) for Lunar Landers.

This LRA is the same design as the one carried onboard Israel’s Beresheet lander that crashed on the Moon last month.

NASA’s retro-reflector is a mirrored device that reflects laser light signals to help pinpoint precisely where a lander is as well as accurately calculate the Moon’s distance from Earth.

Leave a Reply