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Chandrayaan-2 launch in April, to aim for moon’s south pole

Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s first inter-planetary mission to land a rover on any celestial body.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2018 23:23 IST
Malavika Vyawahare
Chandrayaan-2,south pole,Isro
India's first unmanned scientific mission to the moon, Chandrayaan -1, had taken off at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on October 22, 2008. (PTI file photo)

India’s second lunar mission has been postponed till April, Jitendra Singh, who heads the Department of Space, said. It was earlier scheduled for March.

The mission, which would cost about ~800 crore, will be the first time India will attempt to land a rover on the moon’s south pole. “The rover will land near an as-yet-unexplored south pole,” Isro’s new chairperson, K Sivan said.

“India is going to launch Chandrayaan-2 in April. It is under Chandrayaan-1 mission that the Isro spotted water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is a further extension of the project and it is as good as landing a man on the moon,” Singh said at a conference on Friday.

In case the launch does not happen in April because of unsuitable weather conditions it will happen in November.

Earlier missions to the moon have landed near the equator so the south pole is relatively less known. It has very old rocks formed millions of years ago. “This could possibly help us understand the origin of universe,” Sivan said.

In a separate conference, B N Suresh, Honorary Distinguished Professor of the Isro, said that Isro was ready to take humans to space. According to Suresh, the technology is ready but the political clearance is pending.

The future plans of the space agency include developing heavier lift launch vehicles, reusable launch vehicles, heavy platforms and human space missions, the professor said.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 17:53 IST