This Friday, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced that its second mission to the Moon: Chandrayaan-2 is on schedule and is under going various tests. In this mission, ISRO plans to investigate the Moon’s surface and the lunar south pole. It is expected to be launched in April 2018.
“Chandrayaan-2 is a challenging mission as for the first time we will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon,” K. Sivan, chairman of the ISRO, told the Times of India. The rover is expected to spend 14 Earth days on the Moon, walk in the area for about 150-200 metres and also do experiments and chemical analysis on the surface.
Since the rover can only store up to 14 days’ worth of power, Sivan indicated that until it is able to collect enough sunlight and recharge itself, it will remain in sleep mode. As soon as the moon will again face the sun, the solar batteries of the rover will get charged again.
The spacecraft, which will be launched using a Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II rocket, is set to take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh. Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, P Kunhikrishnan congratulated ISRO scientists for opening the year with a success.