BENGALURU: India’s second Moon mission — Chandrayaan-2 — will be launched in the middle of April during peak election season. ISRO Chairman K Sivan told presspersons here on Friday that the mission, which was delayed, will now be launched in a window between March 25 and April-end.
Chandrayaan-2 by ISRO is expected to achieve several firsts by landing close to the south pole of the Moon, a region hitherto unexplored by the scientific community.
Chandrayaan-2 will consist of an orbiter, lander and rover. The orbiter will have a lifespan of one year and will collect scientific data during the period, while both the lander and rover will have a life of one lunar day equivalent to 14 Earth days.
Sivan, responding to a question on the change in launch dates of the mission, said that the launch was shifted as “certain tests could not be completed.” “If we missed the February target set earlier, the only window available next for us will be in April,” he said. As a result, Chandrayaan-2 is likely to be launched during mid-April and will take 45 days for it to reach its destination.
“All the landings on the Moon till date were near the equator. By landing near the south pole, we can collect a large amount of scientific data. Moreover, we are expecting a lot of water in the region which will be a significant discovery,” Sivan added.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle production will be handed over to industry and a consortium has already approached ISRO for the same, he said. “Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Larsen & Toubro have signed an agreement. Moreover, other companies such as Godrej have evinced interest,” he said.
KNOW THE MISSION
Launch window: March 25-April 30
Lifespan of orbiter: 1 year
Lifespan of lander and rover: 1 lunar day or 14 Earth days