Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is planning to launch its second lunar probe Chandrayan-2 around April this year, union minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, personnel, public grievances and pensions, atomic energy and space Jitendra Singh has said.
Chandrayaan-2, the country's second mission to the moon, is a challenging mission as for the first time it will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon, he said, adding that the launch of Chandrayaan-2 will place India at a new height in space technology.
Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising an orbiter, lander and rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the lander housing the rover will separate from the orbiter. After a controlled descent, the lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a rover.
The mission will carry a six-wheeled rover, which will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands. The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
The Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3,290 kg and would orbit around the moon and undertake remote sensing the moon. The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
Singh was addressing a press conference on the achievements of the Department of Space and Department of Atomic Energy, in New Delhi on Friday.
Isro, he said, has achieved many milestones in the recent years, which include launching 104 satellites in single mission in February last year (See: Isro leaps into history with launch of 104 satellites in one go) and the launch of South Asia Satellite, which will boost ties with neighbours. He said India is a frontline nation in the field of space technology and the scientists need to be complimented for it.
Space technology is being utilised by various ministries and departments, including in the Smart City Mission, preparation of utilisation certificates in ministry of DoNER etc, he added.
K Sivan, secretary, department of space and chairman of Space Commission said the total cost of the Chandrayaan 2 mission will be about Rs800 crore. He added if the mission's launch could not take place in April due to unsuitable weather, the window for launch is open till October this year.
He also presented the achievements of Department of Space in the last four years. He said that Isro has successfully accomplished 48 missions, including 21 launch vehicle missions, 24 satellite missions and 3 technology demonstrators.
The Isro chairman also said the South Asia Satellite is a Common Network for Disaster Management Support, Meteorological Data sharing, connectivity of academic, scientific and research institutions, etc He also spoke on the upcoming missions of Isro.
(Also see: India's Chandrayaan-2 mission to land lunar rover near moon's south pole)