Chandrayaan 2: All You Need to Know About Lander Vikram and Orbiter Pragyan
In this picture released by ISRO on July 11, 2019, officials carry out the hoisting of the Vikram Lander during the integration of Chandrayaan-2, at the launch center in Sriharikota. The space mission, which aims to place a robotic rover on the moon, is set to be launched on July 15, 2019. (ISRO/PTI Photo)
Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the moon, is a three-component mission, comprising an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
The lander 'Vikram', named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, carrying the rover 'Pragyan', will be landed in a high plain between two craters at a latitude of about 70 degree south of the moon.
Then the 27-kg 'Pragyan' meaning 'wisdom' in Sanskrit and a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface. The rover can travel up to half a km leveraging solar energy and both Pragyan and Vikram have a mission life of one lunar day, which approximately equals 14 Earth days.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan had earlier said that Vikram's 15-minute final descent "will be the most terrifying moments as we have never undertaken such a complex mission".
The Chandrayaan-2 has 13 payloads in total with eight of them in the orbiter, three payloads in Vikram and two in Pragyan. Five payloads are from India, three from Europe, two from the US and one from Bulgaria.
Only three nations have successfully landed spacecraft on the moon — the United States and the Soviet Union during the space race of the 1960s and 1970s, and more recently, China. (An Israeli nonprofit attempted to send a lander named Beresheet to the moon earlier this year, but it crashed.)
If all goes well, and in the weeks ahead, India will become No. 4 with Chandrayaan-2, a homegrown mission to the moon that aims to demonstrate the technological achievements of one of the largest countries on Earth.
Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission which had 11 payloads — five from India, three from Europe, two from the US and one from Bulgaria. The first mission had the credit for discovery of water on the lunar surface.