The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is likely to launch Chandrayaan-2, the country's second mission to the Moon, next month, sources in the space agency said Thursday.
"We are all trying hard. Definitely, it should be possible to launch the mission in February," a senior ISRO official told PTI. It is expected by the middle of next month but no date has been finalised, the sources said. "There is no impediment. It's on track," the official said.
Chandrayaan-2, a totally indigenous venture, comprises an orbiter, a lander and a rover. After a controlled descent, the lander would soft-land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a rover, according to the ISRO. The six-wheeled rover will move around the landing site on the lunar surface in a semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands.
The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil. The 3,290-kg Chandrayaan-2 will orbit the Moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing it.
The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice, the space agency said. Chandrayaan-1 was India's first lunar probe. It was launched by the ISRO in October 2008 and operated till August 2009.