- Chandrayaan 2, India’s second lunar mission, was scheduled to be launched on 15 July from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. However, the launch got delayed due to technical issues.
- Chandrayaan 2 is ISRO’s first attempt to make a soft landing on the Moon. If successful, India will join the US, the former Soviet Union, and China—the only three other nations to have soft landed on moon.
- Chandrayaan-2 will comprise of an Orbiter, Lander named ‘Vikram’ and Rover named ‘Pragyan’
- The orbiter will circle the moon and provide information about its surface, while the lander will make a soft landing on the surface and send out the rover. The rover will be used mostly for in situ experiments.
- The entire lifecycle of the Lander and Rover will be one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 earth days while the Orbiter will continue for one year.
- The soft landing on lunar South Pole was planned for September 6th. The date had been chosen because the landing site will remain well illuminated by sunlight over the next one month while the Lander and Rover would work and collect data. Also, there is no lunar eclipse during this period.
- Chandrayaan-2 will carry out extensive three-dimensional mapping of the topography of the lunar South Pole region. It will also determine its elemental composition and seismic activity. If successful, India will be the first country to soft land on lunar South Pole. So far, all the landing on the moon have taken place in the equatorial region
- The mission would also try to assess the abundance and distribution of water on the lunar surface.
- Chandrayaan-2 will launch aboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, (GSLV -MK III) rocket- the most powerful rocket ISRO has built.
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