India’s secondary moon mission Chandrayaan-2 seeking to explore the unchartered Lunar south pole by landing a rover will be launched onboard its most potent missile GSLV-Mk0III-M1 from Sriharikota now, a week after the lift-off was cancelled due to a technical snag. The Rs 978 cr mission, which was rescheduled after scientists fixed the glitch in the rocket, will be started at 2.43pm from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, over 100km of Chennai.
The ISRO scientists, who missed the past launch with 56 min given for the program to end on July 15, have become quick corrective work based on an analysis sent out by a team set up to look in the snag and announced the rescheduled launch 3days ago. The 20hr countdown for the launch began at 6.43pm Sunday, ISRO announced.
Chandrayaan_2 becomes 11 years after ISRO’s victorious 1st lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 which scripted past by making more than 3,400 orbits about the Moon and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.
“Chandrayaan 2 can take a billion dreams to the Moon now stronger than ever before! Join us for the launch on Monday, July-22-2019, at 2:43 PM IST,” ISRO had tweeted on July 18 while declaring the rescheduled launch.
On the night of the launch, ISRO chairman K Sivan told all arrangements were on, and the glitch had been improved. “Whatever technical difficulty we observed on July 15 has been rectified. The vehicle is in good health… The (pre-launch) rehearsal has been completed,” he told reporters at the Chennai airport on a brief stopover.
The 43.43m tall 3-stage rocket dubbed ‘Baahubali’ for its capacity to support large payloads would blast-off transporting Chandrayaan-2 and include the satellite into Earth orbit about 16 minutes later.
After lift-off, the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2, including an orbiter, lander and rover, will share 15 basic plans before arriving on the Moon, required by the first week of September, Sivan said. Scientists would secure the soft arrival of the lander in the South Pole area of the Moon where no country has performed so far, the ISRO chief told.
Billed as the most prestigious and challenging mission begun by the ISRO since its beginning, Chandrayaan-2 will make India the 4-country to soft-land a rover on the lunar cover after Russia, the US and China.
About 16.20 min after the lift-off, the GSLV rocket will inject Chandrayaan-2 into 170 km x 39059 km Earth orbit. From then onwards, the mission will see a list of manoeuvres by scientists to carry out different phases of the mission across the next 48 days.
After the rescheduling of the launch, the space agency has tweaked the orbital periods, improving Earth-bound phase to 23 days as next 17 days planned basically.
At the end of the Earth-bound point, the orbit of the spacecraft will be permanently raised to over 1.05 lakh km before pushing it into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory using it to the vicinity of Moon in the next 2days.
Then slowly over the next few days, it will be made to 100 X 100 km circular orbit when the lander will depart and after another few days of launching it will create a soft landing at a chosen place on the Lunar cover.
Those soft landing of the lander – Vikram moving rover ‘Pragyan’, one of the most challenging phases of the mission and defined by the ISRO chief as “15 mins of terror (filled moments), would be tried between Sep 6-8.
“2nd Chandrayaan is the next leap in technology as we try to soft-land close to South Pole of Moon. The soft landing is tough, and we will experience almost 15 minutes of terror,” he had said shortly.
The mission, which provides a result of 13 payloads, including 3-from Europe, 2-from the US and 1-Bulgaria, seeks to improve the perception of the Moon which could lead to innovations that will benefit India and humanity as a complex. A Laser Retroreflector Design (LRA) of US space agency NASA is amongst the payloads and is aimed at opinion dynamics of Earth’s Moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior.