The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) much-awaited moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, is now scheduled to launch any time between July 9 and July 16 with an expected landing on September 6. Chandrayaan-2 is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1.
The mission has been delayed four times since March 2018. Earlier, Chandrayaan-2 was scheduled for launch in a window from January-February but ISRO had deferred it to March-April.
India, however, is being very cautious in taking the latest decision. The first trigger was the failure of their GSAT-6A launch in March last year and in the backdrop of Israel's unsuccessful attempt to land on Moon. Israeli spacecraft, Beresheet crashed during moon landing on April 11.
"We saw Israel's example and we don't want to take any risk. Despite Israel being such a technologically advanced country, the mission failed. We want the mission to be a success," an ISRO official had told PTI.
Chandrayaan-2 weighs more than the Israeli spacecraft making it more difficult for ISRO to have a successful landing on the Moon.
ISRO is cautious about Chandrayaan-2 as it is their first mission to land on any celestial body and it is refraining from any such failures.
In ISRO's update on Wednesday, the space agency said the three modules -- Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) -- of Chandrayaan-2 are getting ready for July launch.
The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle.
The Rover is housed inside the Lander, it said in a statement. The integrated module will reach the moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module after its launch into earth-bound orbit by GSLV MK-III. It might take 35 to 45 days to reach the Moon after the launch.
The objective of the mission is primarily an exploration one and will use and test various new technologies and conduct new experiments. It is also to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface.
Once landed, the rover will move on the lunar surface and will perform on-site chemical analysis. The data will be relayed to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which will piggyback on the same launch. Instruments would also be
mounted on the Lander and Orbiter for carrying out scientific experiments, the statement said.
Scientific goals of Chandrayaan include study of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.