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India’s Moon Mission : Chandrayaan-2 Set For Lift-Off

July 14 :  India is taking steps to become a major space power. Chandrayaan-2 mission, India’s most ambitious space mission which aims to place a robotic rover on the moon, began on Sunday morning at 6.51 AM The moon mission will be launched on Monday (July 15 ) at 2:51 am from India’s only space port at Sriharikota, 50 years after the day that Apollo 11 launched. It  has also decided that it needs its own independent space station. ISRO will use its most powerful rocket launcher, GSLV Mk III, to carry the 3.8 tonne Chandrayaan-2 into orbit. The entire mission has a life of one year.

India’s heavy rocket nicknamed the ‘Bahubali’ carrying the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft began at 6.51 a.m. on Sunday, a top official of the Indian space agency said.

“The countdown started at 6.51 a.m.,” K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told.

Chandrayaan-2 will consist of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. It will be the first human-made machine to explore the south pole of the moon

Chandrayaan-2 mission after its lift-off from Sriharikota will head close to the South Pole of the Moon for a soft landing after spending nearly two months on its long 3. 84 lakh km journey.

The 640 tonne rocket GSLV Mk III, also known as “Baahubali” is as high as a 15-storey building and it will lift the 3.8 tonne satellite on its journey to the moon. This will be the third launch of India’s heaviest launcher.

President Ram Nath Kovind will be at Sriharikota to witness the midnight launch. He will be the third sitting president to witness a live launch from the space port.
The Rs. 1,000-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission will carry a 1.4 tonne lander Vikram – which in turn will take the 27-kilogramme rover Pragyan – to a high plain between two craters on the lunar South Pole.

About 16-minutes into its flight, the Rs 375 crore GSLV-Mk III rocket is expected to sling the Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan-2 into an Earth parking 170×40400 km orbit.

From there, it will be a long journey for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft carrying lander-Vikram and rover-Pragyaan will travel further to the moon.

The distance between earth and the moon is about 3.844 lakh km.

On September 6, the Lander Vikram is expected to make a soft landing on the moon and then Pragyaan will roll out to carry out in-situ experiments.

During the countdown, the rocket and spacecraft’s systems will undergo checks and fuel will be filled to power the rocket engines.
ISRO chief K Sivan said Vikram’s 15-minute final descent “will be the most terrifying moments as we have never undertaken such a complex mission”.
If India succeeds, it will become the fourth country to soft-land a spacecraft on the lunar surface after the US, Russia and China. Israel tried earlier this year but failed.If the mission is successful, it will be a huge achievement for space agency ISRO that has a budget almost 20 times less than US space agency NASA.

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