In what could be a first of its kind landing of a rover on the Moon’s south pole, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Friday that it is seeking to create history by attempting to launch India’s second lunar mission — Chandrayaan-2. The space agency further informed that so far, no country has attempted to land a spacecraft in Moon’s South Pole region.
“Till date nobody has made an attempt to land a rover in the region. It has been only near the equator (of the Moon). We will be attempting to launch the rover (of Chandrayaan 2) in lunar South Pole for the first time,” ISRO Chairman K Sivan was quoted as saying by PTI.
Earlier this week, ISRO informed that the three modules for the upcoming lunar mission — Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) were undergoing development stages. The launch is slated for July, and the lander is scheduled to touch down the moon’s surface by early September.
ISRO has kept the launch window for the mission onboard GSLV MK-III rocket from July 9 to July 16 with an expected Moon landing on September 6, Sivan was quoted as saying.
The Orbiter and Lander modules will be interfaced mechanically and clubbed together as an integrated module and placed inside the launch vehicle. The Rover is housed inside the Lander.
On ISRO’s proposed Aditya-L1 mission, Sivan informed that presently scientists were exploring the possibilities to study more about Sun. “To learn about Sun orbit, we will be sending Aditya-L1 during the first half of next year”, he said.
The mission is aimed at observing the solar corona, the outer layers of the Sun.
The satellite would be inserted in a halo orbit around the L1 (Lagrangian point 1) of the Sun-Earth system so that it has the advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses. The L1 is 1.5 million kms from the Earth.