PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India
Jun 13, 2019, 03.44 PM
India is planning to launch its own space station, ISRO chief K Sivan said Thursday.
The ambitious project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
"We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme after the launch of (the) human space mission. In this context, India is planning to have its own space station," Sivan told reporters.
Under the nearly Rs 1,000 crore mission, the landing on the moon near the South Pole would be on September 6 or 7 on uncharted territory, ISRO chairman K Sivan said.
The Lander, named after the father of the Indian space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, will touch down on a rugged lunar surface in the final descent, which, according to Sivan, would be the "most terrifying moment" of the mission.
"This 15 minutes is going to be terrifying to all of us not only people from ISRO, but for entire India, because the space agency has never undertaken such type of complex flight... This 15 minutes flight is the most complex mission ISRO has ever undertaken," he said.
The ISRO had earlier kept the launch window for the mission from July 9 to July 16.
Watch: ISRO announces Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 15th
Soft-landing on the South Pole of the moon, a territory that has never been visited by any spacecraft, is considered the most challenging part of the mission.
According to him, there is both convenience and science involved for choosing the South Pole.
"From the science point of view, the South Pole is under shadow region more than the North Pole, so because of this special aspect of the South Pole, water is expected to be more there and also more minerals are expected to be there," he added.
"Whole country is waiting for this Chandrayaan-2 mission, yes ISRO has slipped (dates) many times, now ISRO has firmed up the date of launch, it is July 15 early morning at 2:51," Sivan told reporters.
He said the lander and rover will have the mission life of 1 lunar day (14 earth days) and the day of landing (September 6 or 7) will be the beginning of the lunar day.
"For one lunar day this lander and rover will be functioning and carry out scientific experiments," Sivan said.
The orbiter will be going around the moon for one year, he added.
Chandrayaan 2 will also have the credit of being India's first interplanetary mission to be steered by two women- with M Vanitha as Project Director and Ritu Karidhal as Mission Director.
Chandrayaan will carry 13 Indian payloads (8 on orbiter, 3 on lander and 2 on rover) and one passive experiment from NASA.
The mission cost of Chandrayaan-2 with regard to the satellite was Rs 603 crore, Sivan noted.
The cost of GSLV MK III is Rs 375 crore.
According to ISRO, Orbiter, with scientific payloads, would orbit around the moon.
Lander would soft-land on the moon at a predetermined site and deploy the Rover.
Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission, which was launched about 10 years ago.
Chandrayaan-1 had 11 payloads - five from India, three from Europe, two from the US and one from Bulgaria - and the mission had the credit for the discovery of water on the lunar surface.
The 1.4-tonne spacecraft was launched using PSLV and the orbiter had orbited 100 km from the lunar surface.
India's second sojourn to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, would be launched on July 15, Indian Space Research Organisation announced Wednesday, as it is all set for the most complex mission ever undertaken by it.