ISRO is set to make history with India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, space agency on Friday said it will attempt to launch a rover in the lunar South Pole. This territory has not been touched by any space agency so far. The launch is scheduled in July and the lander is expected to touch down on the lunar surface in early September. Earlier this week, ISRO has said all three modules of the moon mission -- Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) -- were getting ready for the launch.
“Till date nobody has made an attempt to land a rover in the region. It has been only near the equator (of the Moon). We will be attempting to launch the rover (of Chandrayaan 2) in lunar South Pole for the first time”, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan said here.
ISRO has kept the launch window for the mission onboard GSLV MK-III rocket from July 9 to July 16 with an expected Moon landing on September 6, Sivan told reporters.
The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the launch vehicle. The Rover is housed inside the Lander.
On ISRO’s proposed Aditya-L1 mission, Sivan said currently scientists were exploring possibilities to study more about Sun. “To learn about Sun orbit, we will be sending Aditya-L1 during the first half of next year”, he said.
The mission is aimed at observing the solar corona, the outer layers of the Sun.
Chandrayaan-2 is one of the crucial launches for the space agency, particularly after Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission). It is also ISRO’s first mission to land on any celestial body.
The Rover is housed inside the Lander. After launch into earth bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module.
Subsequently, Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole. Further, the Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface.
Instruments are also mounted on Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments.