India’s most awaited space mission to the moon was slated to launch this April with a window open until November. However, a recent report has confirmed that the launch of Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon will be in October this year citing additional tests that must be done before ISRO can give a green signal for its launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.
The Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K. Sivan broke the news of a delay in launch during a recent interview pointing towards the additional tests will be conducted at the satellite center before it is readied for its launch in October 2018.
Chandrayaan-2 is considered as more challenging than its predecessor Chandrayaan-1. Unlike earlier used PSLV launcher, the upcoming mission to the moon will be launched from heavy-payload GSLV MkII launcher which will lift off the 3,290 kg spacecraft on its mission to the moon with a journey time spanning over a moon. It will finally cover a distance of 3,82,000 Km from Earth to the Moon and then, it will perform its pre-programmed functions.
According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 is a total indigenous mission since all the components of the spacecraft that includes orbiter, lander, and its 6-wheeled rover are manufactured in India with the help of 100-odd scientists who are presently working on it for quite a few months now. Chandrayaan-2 is touted as more powerful spacecraft than NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon. Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State at Prime Minister’s office stated that the upcoming Chandrayaan-2 will increase the credibility of India in space exploration as well as it will establish its competitiveness in the space programme.
An earlier report published on TeCake states that the total cost of Chandrayaan-2 at around 800 crores which may seem expensive but it is a lot cheaper when compared with Christopher Nolan’s movie Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey that was made on a budget of 1,062 crores. It is not the first time when ISRO has managed to pull off such an incredible feat since in 2013 when ISRO launched its Mangalyaan to the red planet Mars, its budget was estimated at $73 million which is cheaper than 2017 sci-fi movie Gravity starring Sandra Bullock where its budget clocked at over $100 million.
Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will be active on the surface of the moon for 14 days. Once it reaches the orbit of the moon, the lander will detach from the orbiter and then, it will make a safe landing on the uncharted South Pole. Once it lands safely, the 6-wheeled rover will be deployed which has an array of 13 state-of-the-art scientific instruments capable of doing scientific experiments as per its manifest.
On March 21, Dr. Jitendra Singh confirmed that Chandrayaan-2 is slated to launch in October 2018. ISRO will live broadcast the launch across the globe citing that it is a global event. Apart from this mission, ISRO is also looking forward to studying the possibility of habitation.