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Ashoka Chakra, ISRO Logo, Flag: Chandrayaan 2 Set to Engrave India's Name on Moon for Centuries

The first signals from the Lander (carrying three instruments) will start coming within 20 minutes of landing, but data from the Rover will take at least four hours or more.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:July 3, 2019, 2:04 PM IST
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Ashoka Chakra, ISRO Logo, Flag: Chandrayaan 2 Set to Engrave India's Name on Moon for Centuries
ISRO scientists work on the orbiter vehicle of 'Chandrayaan-2', India's first moon lander and rover mission planned and developed by the ISRO, in Bengaluru. (Image: AFP)

Bengaluru: India's second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 2, set for launch at 2.51 am on Saturday, has roped in a total of 620 companies to build the rocket and the space craft. There are about 15 academic institutions, including the Indian Institute of Science and the IITs, who are also a part of the mission development.

The mission, costing Rs 603 crore for the spacecraft and Rs 375 crore for the rocket, is looking at a ten-minute launch window in the wee hours of July 15. But if that fails, it could look at other launch windows all through July. However, those windows are available only for about a minute each, which is why July 15 is chosen for the launch.

The next 50 days will be filled with complex maneouvers in phases that will take the orbiter and the lander closer to the moon, until it lands on the destination, the south pole.

"There are three things. Orbiter which will go around the moon (with eight instruments). The Lander will be on the surface, static. The Rover will be moving at 1 cm per second. It can move up to 500 metres in its lifetime," ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan told reporters on Wednesday.

The first signals from the Lander (carrying three instruments) will start coming within 20 minutes of landing, but data from the Rover will take at least four hours or more.

The Rover has an Ashoka Chakra on one wheel, and the ISRO logo on the other, while the Lander will have a small tricolour too -- and these national footprints will be there on the moon for centuries together.

ISRO will be sharing data and knowledge gained from its instruments with the global community free of cost, the chairman said.

"When you talk of outer space, it concerns the entire humanity. If it's beneficial to all humanity, we won't have any restrictions. We will share with them all. Of course, first our team will do calibration of data before giving to others," Dr Sivan said.

The south pole has been chosen because of convenience and from a science point of view.

"We are going to depend on solar power to power the system. So need a place with good visibility and place we are landing should be less than 12 degree slope. So all these landing characteristics -- it should not have too many boulders, not many craters and good solar light must be available. From a science point of view, the south pole is more under shadow than north pole. So water particles (one of the instruments is to assess and detect this) are expected more and more minerals expected there. We are making this the single criteria," the ISRO chairman said.

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