Chandrayaan 2, India’s much-talked-about moon mission, was successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, located in Sriharikota, at 2.43 pm on Monday. This makes the country a pioneer in the research involving the south pole of the moon. The national space agency was successful in launching the spacecraft this time around after the first launch, which was slated to take place on July 15, was cancelled due to technical snags.
The will be the first indigenously developed spacecraft by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to land on the moon, a feat which has previously been achieved by only three countries: the US, Russia, and China. The spacecraft module has three parts: the orbiter, lander, and the rover.
To compensate for the seven-day delay, the time period for the module to remain in the moon orbit was cut down by the agency with the motive to ensure that the landing does not get delayed by more than a day. The Chandrayaan Lander, Vikram, is scheduled for a September landing, which is crucial as on this day, the 14-daylight period on the moon will commence, which is of extreme importance for carrying out experiments by the solar-powered lander and rover.
The rocket would be set in the Earth Parking Orbit (170 x 40,400 km) within 17 minutes of the launch from Sriharikota. The rocket will revolve around the earth for 23 days before the initiation of a series of maneuvers to prepare for ‘lunar capture’, which would last for five days.
The Chardrayaan 2 module, after being injected into the lunar orbit, would revolve around the moon for 12 days. On September 7, the 48th day of the mission, the first attempt by the lander to land on the moon will be made, when it would detach from the orbiter in what is being considered the ‘the most terrifying 15 minutes’ of the mission.
This would be an historic event for the space agency as well as the whole country if the mission to explore the south pole of the moon is successful, as this is a region which has not been ventured into by any other country before.
The first moon mission by the Indian space agency was launched in 2008. This mission is also set to be the testing ground for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)-Mk-III, which would be used in India’s first manned space mission, Gaganyaan, which is slated for a 2021–2022 launch.