With just four days to go, ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 has to be one of India’s most highly anticipated deep space missions. The 3,890-kilo Chandrayaan-2, unlike its predecessor that carried just an orbiter, will have two components apart from an orbiter – a lander named ‘Vikram,’ after Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space programme; and a six-wheeled robotic rover christened ‘Pragyan’.
Unlike Chandrayaan-1, which was launched on the trusted PSLV C11 launcher, its successor will be using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII (GSLV Mk-III), India’s most powerful launcher till date. It is being used because it can launch heavier payloads further into space.
The second Chandrayaan, which means ‘moon vehicle’, will carry 13 Indian payloads, and one passive experiment from NASA.
If Chandrayaan-2 succeeds in its mission, India will become the fourth country in the world to make a soft landing on the moon after the US, the former Soviet Union and China. Chandrayaan 2 will also attempt a landing at the south polar region of the moon, which is mostly in the shadow region, and because it does not receive direct sunlight it is more likely to have water. Traces of water were discovered by Chandrayaan-1 in the moon’s exosphere in vapour form.
Ahead of the launch of this ambitious spacecraft, ISRO has released some photos that allow a glimpse into Chandrayaan-2 and its components. Take a look.
Vikram lander mounted Vikram lander mounted on top of the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 on top of the orbiter
Hoisting of Vikram lander during Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft integration at launch centre
Pragyan Rover mounted on the ramp projecting from out of the sides of Vikram lander
Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter at launch centre
Hoisting of the equipment bay of GSLV MkIII M1 Vehicle during integration
Integration of C25 cryogenic stage toL110 stage in progress
C25 Cryogenic stage at vehicle assembly building for vehicle integration
Transportation of partially integrated GSLV MkIII M1 vehicle on Mobile launch pedestal
l110 stage integrated with s200
Hoisting of l110 stage for integration with s200
Transportation of liquid l110 stage for integration
Hoisting of a slanted nose cone of s200 after the placement of s200 solid booster on mobile launch pedestal
Placement of one of the s200 solid boosters of GSLV MkIII M1 vehicle on mobile launch pedestal
One of the segments of an s200 booster being carried during vehicle integration