India’s second lunar mission – Chandrayaan-2 – is scheduled to be launched during the wee hours of Monday (July 15) from Sriharikota.
Chandrayaan-2 will be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III at 2:51 AM. The cost of GSLV MK III is ₹375 crore.
The landing on the moon near the South Pole, an uncharted territory so far, would be on September 6 or 7, Sivan told reporters in Bengaluru, as the Indian space agency is all set to embark on its most complex mission. The ISRO had earlier kept the launch window for the mission from July 9 to July 16.
The spacecraft, with a mass of 3.8 tonne, has three modules — Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan).
According to the ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon. Lander would soft land on the moon at a predetermined site and deploy Rover.
The scientific payloads on board Orbiter, Lander and Rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.
With an integrated module, the Chandrayaan-2 mission will help India in expanding its footprint in space.
Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission, which had 11 payloads and was credited for the discovery of water on the lunar surface.