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THE VEHICLE

GSLV - MK III

Lift Off Mass
3,877 kg (approx)

The GSLV Mk-III is the heaviest and the most powerful launch vehicle of India capable of placing a payload of 4-tonnes on a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

Click on exploded view to see the break down of the vehicle and click on the individual parts to know more. Click on the payload to go to the detailed view.

Click on the labels to read more about each module

The Payload

This module comprises an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The technological marvel of ISRO carries key breakthroughs including a highly complicated payload, indigenously developed in India. For the first time, India is attempting soft-landing and placing a rover on the moon. The module has 14 scientific instruments onboard — eight on orbiter, four on lander and 2 on rover. Only one of these instruments is a passive payload from NASA. With this mission, India is creating another history by sending a three-module heavy payload in one mission with multiple objectives.

ORBITER
2,379 kg

It will carry five instruments on the orbiter. Three of them are new, while two others are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1. The Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) will conduct high-resolution observations of the landing site prior to separation of the lander from the orbiter.

Payload

  • Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS)
  • Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM)
  • Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC)
  • Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS)
  • Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • Chandrayaan 2 Atmospheric Compositional Explorer 2 (CHACE 2)
  • Dual Frequency Radio Science (DFRS) experiment

Route to the moon

Earth orbit

After launch the module will be placed in an Earth parking orbit of 170kms (perigee) and 40,400 kms (apogee). A series of orbit raising manoeuvres over 16 days will inject the module to a Lunar Transfer Trajectory. The Module, will take 5 days to reach the moon.

Route to the moon

Lunar orbit

Upon reaching the moon’s sphere of influence, the booster is ignited to lower the orbit gradually to 100km from the surface. The module spends 27 days in orbit after which the lander separates from the orbiter and initiates soft-landing towards the south-polar region of the moon, where no country has gone before.

The Mission

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Separation and landing

The lander, after separation, reorients itself to land. The onboard stereoscopic camera and sensors will analyse the surface of the moon for favourable landing spots while landing. It then lights up the centrally mounted liquid-engine to land softly. This landing process takes 15 minutes from the start of the burn until the lander lands on the surface of the moon. The orbiter continues to perform experiments and sending back to earth for one year.

Rover separation

Once the soft -landing is confirmed, the rover is then slowly released from the lander. It approximately takes 4 hours for this process. The rover carries out experiments and communicates with the lander, which in turn relays the information to earth . The rover can travel upto 500m from the landing spot at the speed of 1cm/sec and conduct experiments. The lander and the rover are designed to be operational for 1 lunar day which is approximately 14 days on earth.