Bengaluru: India's second outing to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2, is planned for the middle of April 2019, according to Dr Sivan.
This project, with a budget of about Rs 800 crore, would be an advanced version of Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008 and which helped discover water on lunar surface a year later. "Right now Chandrayaan is scheduled for launch between March 25 to April end. Most probably, the targeted date is mid-April. If we miss April, it will go to June," he said in response to a question about the next launch window available, adding "but, we will be targeting April. We are going to land at a place where nobody else has gone: Moon's south pole. And scientists feel that scientific data which were are likely to get in this area (south pole) will be large. It is an unexplored region. Lot of water is expected.we are going to create history."
Chandrayaan-2, an indigenous probe, would comprise an orbiter, a lander and a rover. After a controlled descent, the lander would soft-land on the lunar surface at a specified site at the south pole, and deploy a rover. The six-wheeled rover would move around the landing site on the lunar surface in a semi-autonomous mode as decided by ground commands. Instruments onboard the rover would probe the lunar surface and beam home data for a thorough analysis of composition of the lunar soil.
The 3,290-kg Chandrayaan-2 would orbit the Moon and carry out remote sensing experiments after a voyage lasting a couple of months from the date of launch by GSLV rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota Range.