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Chandrayaan-2 release to occur on July 15 at 02:51 AM

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is prepping for the upcoming launch of the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission. While the mission previously had a tentative launch date window between July 9 and July 15, the Indian space agency’s chairman K Sivan has revealed the exact date of the launch at a press meet at the ISRO Headquarters in Bengaluru. The space mission is slated to take place at 02.51 AM on July 15, 2019 from Sriharikota. “The launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII-M1 is planned on July 15, 2019 at 02.51 Hrs from Sriharikota,” said Sivan.  

While there are many interesting aspects of the moon mission, one thing to note is that it will attempt a soft landing on the south polar region of the lunar surface. This is the first time any Indian space mission is trying to pull off a soft landing, and on the south polar region of the moon. ISRO chairman termed the soft landing as  “15 terrifying minutes,” which suggests that it is no easy feat to achieve. Sivan also said that the Vikram lander aboard the spaceship is most likely to touch down on the moon’s surface on September 6, 2019.

The GSLV MkIII-M1 spacecraft weighs 3.8 tonnes and will carry the lander and orbiter modules, which will be stacked together as a composite structure. The lander will house the rover (called Pragyaan). “The propulsion systems of the orbiter will be used for manoeuvres. Then we will have the translunar burns to take the composite structure closer to the Moon. After this the spacecraft will cover 3.5 lakh-km and travel there for five days,” Sivan said. The rover aboard the lander will help scientists conduct experiments on the lunar surface. The GSLV MkIII-M1 will also carry 13 Indian payloads, along with one passive experiment.


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