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India’s heavy rocket ‘Bahubali’ gearing up for Moon

‘Bahubali’ will be carrying Chandrayaan-2 for India’s first historic flight to Moon this month.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2019 19:08 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Chennai
GSLV satellitelaunch,india first flight to moon,chandrayaan 2
Bahubali is a GSLV Mark III heavy lift rocket which will be readied for its historic flight to the moon. In this photo, a view of ISRO's GSLV-MkIII D2 mission carrying high communication satellite. (PTI)

India’s heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle - Mark III (GSLV Mk III), nicknamed as ‘Bahubali’, and its passenger Chandrayaan-2 were being readied up for their historic flight to the Moon on July 15, said space agency officials.

“Preparations are going at a hectic pace at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota for the July 15 early morning launch at 2.51 a.m. Everything is progressing normally,” said an official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Also Read| India planning to launch own space station within a decade: ISRO chief

About 16 minutes into its flight, the Rs 375 crore GSLV Mk III rocket will put into orbit the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

While ISRO officials call the 640-tonne GSLV Mk III rocket as ‘fat boy’, the Telugu media nicknamed it ‘Bahubali’, as like the hero in the successful film lifts a heavy Lingam, the rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

According to the ISRO, the Chandrayaan-2 will be injected into an Earth parking 170x40400 km orbit.

The spacecraft’s orbit will be raised by a series of manoeuvres to put it on Lunar Transfer Trajectory.

On entering the Moon’s sphere of influence, on-board thrusters will slow down the spacecraft for Lunar Capture.

The Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan-2 consists of three segments - the Orbiter, the lander-Vikram and rover Pragyaan.

The Indian space agency has named lander Vikram in memory of country’s space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai and rover Pragyaan means wisdom in Sanskrit.

Also Read| Chandrayaan-2, India’s second moon mission, to be launched on July 15

According to ISRO, on the day of landing, the lander Vikram will separate from the Orbiter and then perform a series of complex manoeuvres comprising rough braking and fine braking.

Imaging of the landing site region prior to landing will be done for finding safe and hazard-free zones.

The Vikram is expected to finally land near South Pole of the Moon on September 6, 2019 and carry out three scientific experiments.

The Indian space agency said the lander will get separated from the Orbiter four days after the former enters the lunar orbit. Vikram will soft land from a height of 100 km from the Moon’s surface.

Subsequently, the six-wheeled rover Pragyaan will roll out and carry out two experiments on lunar surface for a period of one lunar day which is equal to 14 Earth days.

Also Read| Moon probe tops agenda for Isro’s biggest year yet

The Orbiter with eight scientific experiments will continue its mission for a duration of one year.

The mission also has one passive experiment from the US space agency NASA.

The Indian space agency said the mission will also try to unravel the origins of the Moon.

Interestingly, the lander as well as the rover will have the Indian national flag painted on them. Ashoka Chakra will be imprinted on the rover’s wheels.

The success of Chandrayaan-2 mission will make India the fourth country in the world to land and ride on the Moon surface after the US, Russia and China.

India launched its first Moon mission Chandrayaan-1 in October 2008 using its light rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 19:08 IST

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