Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has postponed the launch of India’s second lunar mission ‘Chandrayaan-2’ to October as the experts have suggested some tests. The launch was originally scheduled for April 23.
”The experts had met recently and suggested the tests, following which the mission will now be launched in October,” ISRO chairman K Sivan told reporters at Chennai airport yesterday.
The mission will be ISRO's time attempt to land a rover on the moon’s south pole.
Keeping in mind the complexities involved in the mission as for the first time ISRO is experimenting with an orbiter, a rover and a lander, the panel recommended postponing the launch till we complete all tests and are confident of a perfect mission, Sivan said.
The original targeted date for the launch was kept on April 23. However, as the ongoing tests for the lunar mission will take 20 more days, the date could not be met. Therefore the panel decided to defer the launch, he informed.
Unlike, other satellite launches where ISRO could easily defer the launch by a day or two to get a perfect mission, the space agency cannot do the same in this mission.
"This is because the ideal date for the moon launch comes only once in a month. If we skip that date of the month, we have to plan the launch next month. After April, if ISRO launches the mission from May to September, we won’t be able to utilise the full lunar day (14 Earth days) for experiments on the moon because of eclipses. Therefore, ISRO will launch the mission in the first week of October,” the chairman told media.
Earlier on February 16, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, in-charge of the Department of Space, Jitendra Singh had said that the lunar mission will be launched in April.
Chandrayaan-2 is a totally indigenous mission comprising an orbiter, lander and rover.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighing around 3,290 kg would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon.
“The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice,” ISRO said on its website about the lunar mission.
Isro had launched its maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 in 2008.