Chandrayaan 2, India’s mission to the moon, will be launched after midnight on July 15, Indian Space Research Organisation chairperson K Sivan said on Wednesday. After the launch, the satellite will take several weeks before it heads for a much-anticipated soft-landing on the south pole of the moon – a region that has not been visited by any spacecraft, NDTV reported.
Sivan said they expect Chandrayaan to attempt landing on the lunar surface on September 6 or September 7.
“It is the most complex mission ever to be undertaken by ISRO,” NDTV quoted Sivan as saying. “There will 15 terrifying minutes when the lander separates and before it soft lands on the moon, currently slated for September 6, 2019.
“The Chandrayaan 2 Mission contains three components & the composite body of Chandrayaan 2 is kept inside GSLV MK-III,” he said, according to ANI. “The total mass of Chandrayaan 2 system is 3.8 ton; out of 3.8 ton, nearly 1.3 ton is the propeller.”
He said that the satellite use solar power to function and is completely autonomous.
Sivan said the satellite will carry 13 Indian scientific instruments that will help map the moon surface, search for water and analyse the moon’s minerals. He added that a NASA instrument for LASER ranging will also be carried for free.
He said the satellite would look for imaging of rocks for chemical elements such as magnesium and calcium, for signs of water, and will also study the exosphere of the moon.