Spacewatch: India prepares to launch Chandrayaan 2 moon mission

As Chandrayaan-2 Lifts Off Sunday Night President Will Be At Sriharikota

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan). PSLV versus GSLVThe two big missions before this-the Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)-were launched using the PSLV class of launch vehicles, while this will be launched using India's heaviest rocket so far.

The rover will be in constant contact with the lander, which will be in constant contact with the orbiter and also with the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN).

During his election campaign in March, Modi made a sudden televised address to the nation to disclose that India had become the fourth country to shoot down a low-orbit satellite with a missile - an advanced defense capability matched only by the United States, China and Russian Federation.

ISRO hope topographical studies, mineralogical analyses and other experiments will help the world gain a better understanding of the moon's origins. In 2008, the space agency launched the Chandrayaan-1 mission, which included an orbiter and a small impact probe created to crash into the lunar surface (as a result, this does not qualify as a soft landing).

The mission, Chandrayaan-2, which means "moon vehicle" in Sanskrit, will send a rover to collect samples from the surface of the moon and monitor seismic activity. "The launch is scheduled at 2:51 am on July 15", the ISRO said on Thursday.

The Moon is the closest cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented. Both the Mars and moon missions combined amount to less than the $408 million India spent building a giant statue of a freedom-era leader previous year.

The lunar south pole is especially interesting because a much larger portion of it is in shadow than the north pole, presenting a greater possibility of water.

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The mission is being called the 'most complex' as this is the first time any country is attempting a soft landing near the south pole of the Moon.

Vikram, named after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the father of the Indian Space Programme, should land on a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, which are around 70° south. It is created to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.

If successful, Indian would be fouth ever country- after the United States, China, and Russia- to soft land on Moon. After that, the Chandryaan 2 will change its trajectory towards the moon.

The lander and rover are headed for the lunar south pole, exploring a scientifically important region that has been shown to contain water ice.

The 27-kg, six-wheeled rover "Pragyan", fitted with cameras and instruments, would analyse the lunar soil. It can travel up to 500 m (½-a-km) and leverages solar energy for its functioning. Primarily, it will survey the surface and sub-surface for the presence of water and hydroxyl ions.

The first pictures will be out in 15 minutes of lander touching ground.

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