India will be the first country to land a rover on the moon with its Chandrayaan-2 mission to be launched by ISRO this September. If ISRO manages to successfully execute this, India will be the first country to land a rover on the moon’s South Pole.
“ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said this was a region where nobody had gone before. “All the [ISRO] missions, whatever we have had till now [to the moon], have all landed near the moon’s equator. This is a place where nobody has gone,” he said.
The mission would land on the southern pole of the moon, which has not been explored much before by any of the countries. The landing of the craft near the lunar South Pole would be historically significant as it would give ISRO the opportunity to name that site on the moon.
All the modules are getting ready for the Chandrayaan-2 launch during the window of July 9 to July 16. The expected moon landing on September 6,” said the space agency in a statement on Wednesday.
The launch is scheduled to take place from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Elaborating on the mission, the agency stated that it would have three modules namely Orbiter, Lander named Vikram and Rover named Pragyan, all developed by India.
The Orbiter and Lander modules would be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module. It would be accommodated inside the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MK-III, a three stage launch vehicle equipped to lift heaviest satellites into orbit. The Rover is housed inside the Lander.
After launch into earth-bound orbit, the integrated module would reach the lunar orbit using the Orbiter propulsion module.
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The Lander would then separate from the Orbiter and soft land at a pre-determined site close to lunar South Pole.
Unlike the first lunar mission in October 2008, which was launched using PSLV rocket and involved only orbiting the moon, Chandryaan 2 would attempt a soft landing the lunar surface.