New Delhi: Adding another feather in the field of space, India's second Moon mission that is planned for a July launch will have 13 payloads and one passive experiment from American space agency NASA, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Wednesday.
ISRO said in a mission update, “Thirteen Indian payloads (8 on the orbiter, 3 on lander and 2 on rover) and one passive experiment from NASA.” The spacecraft with a mass of 3.8 tonnes has three modules — Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan).
The space agency had earlier said that all the modules are getting ready for Chandrayaan-2 launch during the window of 9 July to 16 July, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on 6 September.
The orbiter will orbit 100 km from the lunar surface, while the lander (Vikram) will do a soft landing near the south pole of the moon, and Rover (Pragyan) will conduct in-situ experiments.
The Chandrayaan 2 mission of ISRO is of great significance. As per Chairman of ISRO, K Sivan, “We are going to land at a place where nobody else has gone-the Moon's South Pole... it is unexplored region.”
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, ISRO has said, adding 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, and subsequently, lander will separate from the orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole.
Chandrayaan 1 was launched Chandrayaan-1 mission about 10 years ago. It had 11 payloads- five from India, three from Europe, 2 from USA and 1 from Bulgaria, and the mission had the credit for discovery of water on the lunar surface.
The 1.4-tonne spacecraft was launched using PSLV and the orbiter had orbited 100 km from the lunar surface.