The Indian Space Research Organization has released the first-ever visual of Chandrayaan-2, the country’s second moon mission on Wednesday. The takeoff of Chandrayaan-2 has been scheduled for July 15 while the launch window has been kept open between July 9 and July 16.
(The First look of 'Chandrayaan 2')
(Testing underway prior to the launch of Chandrayaan-2)
The mission will be carried out by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MK III) rocket, which is designed to launch satellites into geostationary orbit. Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second lunar mission after Chandrayaan-1 and it is divided into three modules namely Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) & Rover (Pragyan). The Orbiter and Lander modules accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle, interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module. The Rover is housed inside the Lander.
After launching into earthbound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module of the Orbiter and Lander will reach Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. Afterwards, the Lander will part ways with the Orbiter and soft land at the proposed site close to the lunar South Pole, which is scheduled for September 6. Further, the Rover will perform certain scientific experiments on the lunar surface.
Meanwhile, the ISRO has outlined the challenges of a Moon landing, as follows:
It will also carry NASA's laser instruments that allow scientists to make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon, according to the US space agency officials. During the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held at Texas, NASA confirmed that Chandrayaan 2 and Israeli lander Beresheet, due to touch down April 11, will each carry NASA-owned laser retroreflector arrays.
"We're trying to populate the entire surface with as many laser reflector arrays as we can possibly get there," Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said.