Here's everything you need to know about India's lunar mission Chandrayaan-2

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jul 14, 2019, 08:31 PM IST

Chandrayaan-2. (Image courtesy: ISRO) Photograph:(Others)

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Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian lunar mission that will boldly go where no country has ever gone before -- the Moon's south polar region.

India eyes creating history with its Chandrayaan-2 mission, a mission which several scientists have described as one of the most complex ever undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian lunar mission that will boldly go where no country has ever gone before -- the Moon's south polar region.

"We aim to improve our understanding of the Moon, which could lead to discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole. These insights and experiences will cause a paradigm shift in how lunar expeditions are approached for years to come, propelling further voyages into the farthest frontiers," ISRO said in a statement about the mission.

ISRO's most powerful launcher -- GSLV MK-III or "Bahubali" will carry Chandryaan-2 to its designated orbit. The three-stage vehicle is capable of launching 4-tonne class of satellites to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

Chandryaan-2 will separate from the rocket 973.7 seconds after its launch.

The landing on the surface of the moon will take place 54 days after the launch. The lander-orbiter separation will take place on the 50th day.

"Chandrayaan 2 will be aided in achieving its mission by some of India's most advanced engineering marvels. Its composite module, which comprises technology and software developed across the country, includes a wholly indigenous rover and our first lander capable of executing a 'soft landing'," the space agency said.

At the time of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be capable of communicating with the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu, as well as with the Vikram lander. The mission life of the Orbiter is one year, during which it will be placed in a 100 x 100 km lunar polar orbit.

Chandrayaan 2's lander is named Vikram after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme. It is designed to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days. Vikram has the capability to communicate with IDSN at Byalalu near Bangalore, as well as with the Orbiter and Pragyan rover. The lander is designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface at a touchdown velocity of 2 metres per second.

The planned landing site is a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70.9deg South 22.7deg East.

Chandrayaan 2's rover is a 6-wheeled robotic vehicle named Pragyan, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit. It can travel up to 500 m (0.5 km) at a speed of 1 centimetre per second and leverages solar energy for its functioning. It can communicate with the lander.

The mission payloads include -- Terrain Mapping Camera which will generate a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the entire moon, Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer which will test the elemental composition of the Moon's surface Solar X-Ray Monitor which will provide solar X-ray spectrum inputs for CLASS.

The other payloads on the orbiter are -- Imaging IR Spectrometer which will map the Moon's mineralogy and confirm the presence of water-ice on the lunar surface through Megala check, Synthetic Aperture Radar L&S Bands to map the polar region and confirm the presence of water-ice at the sub-surface level, Chandra's Atmospheric Composition Explorer-2 which will examine the Moon's neutral exosphere, Orbiter High Resolution Camera which will conduct high-restopography mapping, and Dual-Frequency RadioScience Experiment to study the lunar ionosphere.

The payloads on Vikram lander include -- Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity which will characterise the seismicity around the landing site, Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment which will examine the Moon's thermal conductivity and temperature gradient, Langmuir Probe which will conduct ionosphere studies on the lunar surface.

Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer which will determine the elemental composition of the Moon, Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope which will identify elemental abundance in the vicinity of the landing site is the payloads on Pragyan Rover.

The 20-hour countdown began on Sunday morning for the launch of Chandrayaan-2, India's Moon mission to the unexplored south polar region of Earth's natural satellite.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the countdown started at 6.51 am today.

Later in the evening, ISRO tweeted a video showing what went into the making of Chandryaan-2 mission to its subsequent placing on the launching site.

The agency has been constantly tweeting various updates regarding the ambitious mission.