Recently India has successfully launched its second lunar exploration
mission on 22 July 2019.
It has been developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation and was launched from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Andhra Pradesh.
It consists of a lunar orbiter, a lander and a lunar rover named Pragyan which are all developed in India.
The primary objective is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the lunar surface.
The scientific objective includes studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.
DESIGN, PROPERTIES AND COST
The mission was launched with an approximate liftoff mass of 3850 kg by the help of GSLV Mk III.
The mission has an allocated cost of rupees 978 crores (approx 141 million dollars) as of June 2019.
Chandrayaan 2 stack was initially put in an earth parking orbit of 170 km perigee and 40,400km apogee by the launch vehicle.
ISRO and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) signed an agreement on 12 Nov 2007 to work together on the project.
India had the prime responsibility for the orbiter and rover while Roscosmos was to provide the Lander.
The mission was approved by the union cabinet on 18 Sept 2008 headed by PM Manmohan Singh.
The mission was postponed in 2013 and rescheduled to 2016 because Russia was unable to develop lander on time.
Roscosmos later withdrew in wake of FOBOS -GRUNT mission to mars and when Russia cited its inability to provide lander even by 2015, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.
Later on, after working on different aspects and conducting a various test for launching, the mission was initially scheduled for 14 July 2019 but was aborted due to a technical glitch and rescheduled to 22 July 2019.
Finally, India successfully launched Chandrayaan 2 on 22 July 2019 and the mission is to land on the south pole of the moon on Sept 6 or 7.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MISSION
ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 is remarkable for being completed at very less expense of about 141 million US dollars which is even less than the science fiction movie Interstellar.
India will also successfully became the fourth country to soft-land on the lunar surface and most importantly the first country ever to land at the south pole of the moon.