Second Lunar Exploration Mission By ISRO


Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar exploration mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after Chandrayaan-1. It consists of a lunar orbiter, the Vikram lander, and the Pragyan lunar rover, all of which were developed in India. The main scientific objective is to map the location and abundance of lunar water via Pragyan, and ongoing analysis from the orbiter circling at a lunar polar orbit of 100 × 100 km. The mission was launched to the Moon from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre on 22nd July 2019 at 2.43 PM IST by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III). The craft reached the Moon's orbit on 20th August 2019 and began orbital positioning man-oeuvres for the landing of the Vikram lander. 


Vikram and the rover were scheduled to land on the near side of the Moon, in the south polar region at approximately 1:50 am on 7 September 2019 and conduct scientific experiments for one lunar day, lasting two Earth weeks. However, at about 1:52 am IST, the lander deviated from its intended trajectory at around 2.1 kilometers from landing and lost communication. Initial reports suggesting a crash have been confirmed by K. Sivan (Chairman, ISRO) stating that the lander location had been found, and "it must had been a hard landing". However, on 9th September 2019, K. Sivan announced that even though the lander had a "hard landing", Vikram is still in one piece and is in a tilted position, which makes India the fourth country to place a spacecraft in one piece on the surface of the moon. The orbiter, part of the mission with eight scientific instruments, remains operational and will continue its seven year mission to study the Moon.

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