GSLV Mk II will launch the spacecraft weighing 3,290kg, carrying an orbiter, a rover and a lander to the moon.
In one of its most challenging space missions yet, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working hard to launch a heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II spacecraft weighing 3,290kg with an orbiter module, a rover and a lander to the moon. The mission is scheduled for sometime in April 2018.
ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan told TOI, that the spacecraft will be launched from the Sriharikota launch pad. After the launch, the orbiter will reach the moon’s orbit in one or two months. Once the orbiter reaches its destination, the lander will get detached from the orbiter and do a soft-landing near the south pole of the moon.
“The 6-wheeled rover fixed within the lander will get detached and move on the lunar surface. The rover has been designed in such a way that it will have power to spend a lunar day or 14 Earth days on the moon’s surface and walk up to 150-200 km. It will do several experiments and on-site chemical analysis of the surface,” Sivan said.
Once the rover lands on moon’s surface, it will send data and images of the lunar surface back to the Earth through the orbiter within 15 minutes. “The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice,” ISRO said. Then, post spending 14 earth days on moon, the rover will go in a sleep mode.
Sivan says that they are hoping that the rover will come alive whenever that part of the moon where the rover will land, gets sunlight and recharges the rover’s solar cells. Besides the rover, the orbiter will also capture images of the moon while orbiting it.