India’s second unmanned Moon mission — Chandrayaan 2 — is all set to take off on 15 July. The rocket is set to launch on 15 July 2019 at 2.51 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be live streaming the launch on its Twitter and Facebook page. The mission will also be streamed live on DD National‘s YouTube channel and tech2’s Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter handles, made available 30 minutes before the launch window opens, at approximately 2.21 am IST on 15 July. We are also running a live blog, which will give you the blow by blow update of the entire launch event.
After the success of Chandrayaan-1 and the host of other satellite launches since, the expectations from Chandrayaan 2 are quite high.
With Chandrayaan 2, in a first for India, ISRO will be depositing a lander and rover on the surface of the Moon. There is a lot to unpack, so let’s dive right into it. The aim is to make this your one-stop-shop for everything Chandrayaan 2.
What is Chandrayaan 2?
Chandrayaan is an amalgamation of Chandra – Moon and Yaan – vehicle. Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first unmanned mission which was launched in October 2008. Chandrayaan 2 is the second unmanned mission and will launch after almost a decade since the first mission. The ambitions with the second Moon mission are understandably greater.
What are the objectives of Chandrayaan 2?
Chandrayaan 2 is expected to make a soft landing on the unmapped surface of the Moon on the South Pole. This will be the first time any mission touched down so far from the equator, according to a report in Science. One of the primary objectives is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface.
Among the scientific objectives, there are experiments that will be conducted to study the lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere and signs for hydroxyl – a molecule involving hydrogen and oxygen which has, among other things, significance when it comes to the search for extraterrestrial life – and water ice on the lunar surface.