After successful Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) is prepping up to launch Chandrayaan-2 mission; this will be ISRO’s first ever lunar rover mission which will actually land on the moon surface. ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said that Chandrayaan-2 will be landing near moon’s South Pole and the rover will explore for 14 days on Moon surface before entering sleep mode.
ISRO is gearing up towards one of its most challenging space missions and is leaving no stones unturned to make the landmark Chandrayaan-2 mission, a grand success. While this isn’t India’s first moon mission, but it is certainly the Indian government’s most ambitious Moon research project till date. Unlike the first lunar mission when a PSLV rocket carried the spacecraft to the moon’s orbit, this time heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II will launch the spacecraft weighing 3,290kg as the module will carry an orbiter, a rover and a lander to the moon. The launch date schedule is sometime in April. Once the GSLV rocket carrying the spacecraft is launched from Sriharikota, the orbiter will reach the moon’s orbit in one to two months.
After reaching the moon’s orbit, the lander will get detached from the orbiter and do a soft-landing near the south pole of the moon. The 6-wheeled rover fixed within the lander will get detached and move on the lunar surface. The rover has been designed in such a way that it will have power to spend a lunar day or 14 Earth days on the moon’s surface and walk up to 150-200 km. It will do several experiments and on-site chemical analysis of the surface. ISRO is also planning to send three unmanned vehicles which include, an orbiter craft that will hover above the moon’s surface, plus a rover and a lander that will safely plop that rover on the moon.
If everything goes according the plan, this mission on the Moon will be completed in 14 Earth days, that’s just enough time for the Moon to make one full orbit around our planet. During the 14 earth days stay in the moon, the rover will only take 15 minutes time to send images and data of the lunar surface back to the Earth through the orbiter.