India successfully launched its second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2, at 2:43 pm on July 22 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Developed by Indian Space Research Organisation, Chandrayaan-2 is the world’s first mission that will reach the Moon’s south pole region to map the location and abundance of lunar water.
The total cost of the mission is Rs 978 crore and the spacecraft weighs 3.8 tonnes carrying a payload of 14 scientific instruments.
The mission would see the lander and rover modules of the spacecraft make a soft-landing on the moon’s surface 48 days from now, on September 7. Both of them will be ‘alive’ there for 14 days, during which they will carry out various experiments and collect data.
The mission also has an Orbiter module that will go around the moon for the next one year in an orbit 100 km from the moon’s surface. During this time, the various instruments onboard the Orbiter will study the moon’s surface, its atmosphere, prepare three-dimensional maps, and also search for further evidence of water.
The launch was originally scheduled for July 14 but was cancelled due to a technical glitch.