BENGALURU (Reuters) – India said on Wednesday it will launch its second lunar mission in mid-July, as it moves to consolidate its status as a leader in space technology, to achieve a controlled landing on the moon.
Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is to attend a press conference at its headquarters in Bengaluru, India, on the 12th of June, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
The mission, if successful, would make India only the fourth country after the United States, Russia, and China, to carry out a soft landing on the moon and a rover on it. China’s successful landing of a lunar rover in January.
The unmanned mission, called Chandrayaan-2, which means “moon craft” in Sanskrit, will be complemented by an orbiter, a lander and a rover, which will be built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The mission is scheduled to launch on the 15th of July, on board ISRO’s geosynchronous Satellite Launch vehicle Mark III. It will cost about 10 billion rupees ($144 million), the ISRO said.
After a journey of more than a period of 50 days, ISRO’s lander will attempt a soft, controlled landing on the surface of the moon in the middle of September. 6.
“In the last 15 minutes before landing, going to be the most terrifying moment for ourselves,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan told the media on Wednesday. The agency said the changes in the moon’s gravity field, and the dust can cause problems.
The Indian mission would be the third attempted moon landing this year, after China’s successful Chang’e-4 lunar probe and an Israeli spacecraft is Beresheet, which was unsuccessful, and it fell to the ground on the moon, in the month of April.
“This is the most complex of the mission, ISRO has ever undertaken”, Sivan said.
Chandrayaan-1, India’s first moon mission, in 2008, the cost was $79 million, helped to confirm the presence of water on the moon. (few.rs/2R053AF)
The Chandrayaan-2 was originally planned as a collaboration with the Russian space agency Roscosmos, however, in 2013, India will be demolished, and the tie-up is due to technical differences with the Russian program.
In 2014, India launched an unmanned Mars mission, at a cost of $74 million, or less than, the budget of the Hollywood space blockbuster “Gravity,” and at a fraction of the $671 million the U.S. space agency NASA spent on its MAVEN Mars mission. (few.rs/2R25vhC)
Prime minister Modi, who recently won his second term in office, is to be aggressive with his space policy. In March, India said that it was shot by one of their own satellites, making it one of only four countries in the world to have this technology.
Reporting by Chris Thomas and Nivedita Bhattacharjee in BENGALURU; Writing by Ismail Shakil in Mumbai; Editing by Euan Rocha.