Stronger than ever: India set for fresh Moon launch attempt

Federico Mansilla
Julio 22, 2019

ISRO has set July 22 as the launch date and the GSLV MKIII carrying the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 2.43 pm.

At the time of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be capable of communicating with the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu, as well as with the Vikram lander.

Chandrayaan-2 will take 48 days to accomplish the task of landing on the moon through meticulously planned orbital phases, ISRO has said.

Kumar also talked about the technical snag which had forced ISRO to abort the launch of the lunar mission on Monday (July 15) and said, "One of the issues, any system of this magnitude, we keep testing to various levels and during one of the levels we found that there was a shortcoming". The lander is created to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface at a touchdown velocity of 2 metres per second.

The GSLV-Mk III rocket with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was originally scheduled for flight on July 15 at 2.51 a.m.

The Pragyan rover, powered by the sun and AI, will cross the lunar surface at the blistering pace of 1 centimeter per second carrying instruments that can assess the molecules present on the moon.

The orbiter will operate for a year in a circular orbit around the poles and carries radar and spectrometers that will enable study of the moon's surface and exosphere. It is created to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.

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Media captionIs India a space superpower? "Chandrayaan-2 is now ready for launch on 22 July". We intend to move towards the moon on August 14 and land on the moon around September 6.

A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of U.S. space agency NASA is among the payloads and is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earth's Moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior.

He explained that those who had been controlling the spacecraft until then would have no role to play in those crucial moments.

According to ISRO, the lunar South Pole is an interesting surface area which remains in shadow than North pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it, the agency said, adding craters in the South Pole region have cold traps and contain fossil record of the early solar system. But for the first time, Isro has chosen women to lead an interplanetary expedition.

Dr K Kasturiraangan, former Chairman of ISRO says, "The Indian space agency is highly regarded the world over for its innovative and frugal launches, reaching the moon and Mars in maiden attempts has made ISRO world's envy, India's pride".

"In such an ambitious and prestigious mission like Chandrayaan, one can not take a chance even if a small flaw is detected", Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of space policy at the New Delhi think tank the Observer Research Foundation, told AFP.

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