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India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 to take off on July 15: Isro

T E Narasimhan & Peerzada Abrar/Bangalore 12 Jun 19 | 05:30 PM

India plans to launch its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 on July 15, and once successful, aiming to be the fourth nation to land on moon, said Isro chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan on Wednesday.

GSLV MK-III, the rocket carrying Chandrayaan-2, will take-off from Isro's space port at Sriharikota, near Chennai at 2.15 a.m. on July 15, he said.

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"We are targeting to land on the south pole of the moon on September 6 or 7," said Sivan.

Isro expects to continue its research on presence of water and minerals on moon after Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 released its Moon Impact Probe where it found debris that was analysed for presence of water.

According to Sivan, lunar south pole was chosen as it would be easy to land due to the flat surface and ample solar energy.

The rover will have 15 minute to land on the moon from its orbit, which the chief describes as the "most terrifying" part of the mission as it was never undertaken by Isro.

While the lander will have a life span of one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 days in Earth, the orbiter lifespan is one year and during this period it will revolve around the moon.

Speaking about the cost, Sivan said of the Rs 1,075 crore, nearly Rs 603 crore will be towards satellite development and the balance Rs 375 crore will be for the GSLV MK-III rocket. Nearly 60 per cent of the satellite cost on the industry and nearly 85 per cent when it comes to the rocket.

Another interesting part of the 100 per cent indigenously developed mission is that both mission and project directors and nearly 30 per cent of the team will be women, said Sivan.

Key pointers

Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on July 15 from Isro's heaviest rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter, a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyaan. The nominal mission life of the lander is expected to be 14 earth days or one lunar day. Lander will do onsite experiments on the lunar surface for about 14 days and it is solar powered Chandrayaan-2 will explore south pole where no mission has ever set foot. The Rs 1,075 crore Chandrayaan-2 is an indigenous mission, India will use the Deep Space Network of NASA on payment basis for navigation and guidanceFor the first time, mission director and 30% of the team is women

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