Prelims level : Science and Technology Mains level : GS-III Technology, Environment, Economic Development
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Why in News:

  • Chandrayaan-2, India’s second Moon mission, will be launched on July 15, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


  • ISRO on Wednesday unveiled plans for its second unmanned mission to the moon, in what would be another milestone in the country’s space exploration programme.
  • The announcement by Isro comes almost 11 years.

About Chandrayan 2:

  • Chandrayaan-2 will have three modules, Orbiter, Lander (Vikram), and Rover (Pragyan). These are designed to carry out various experiments, including mapping of the surface, minerals, chemical composition, detection sparse water molecules above the lunar surface and rock formations.
  • The spacecraft, with an estimated weight of 3.8 tonnes, will attempt a soft landing on the moon, adding to the complexity of the mission.
  • If successful, India will join the US, the former Soviet Union, and China—the only three other nations to have achieved the feat so far.
  • Chandrayaan-2 is expected to take a total of 58 days post launch in various stages of orbit for the modules to reach the moon and an additional four days to land near the south polar region. Isro will use the same strategy as Chandrayaan-1 for this mission but the soft landing will be a new attempt.
  • It will take 15 minutes to land and is going to be the most terrifying moment because this is a flight Isro has never undertaken.
  • The lunar landing is expected to take place on 6 or 7 September on the unexplored south polar region of the moon—a first for any country—which has the possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas as well as craters that are cold traps that contain the fossil record of the early solar system.


  • Chandrayaan-2 will carry a total of 13 payloads, including eight on the Orbiter, three on the Lander, two on the Rover, as well as one passive experiment from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US.
  • The Orbiter will continue its task while the Rover comes out of the Lander after it has landed on the Lunar surface.
  • The entire lifecycle of the Lander and Rover will be one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 earth days while the Orbiter will continue for one year.
  • The Orbiter and Lander will be able to communicate with Earth directly, while the Rover will share information, images and data to the Lander which in turn will share it with Isro.
    The mission was supported by more than 500 academic institutions and 120 industries that contributed 60% of the ₹603 crore cost of Chandrayaan-2 and 80% of the ₹375 crore cost of the Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle-Mark III.
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