India is planning to launch second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in mid-April, a top space official said on Friday.
“We are targeting mid-April to launch Chandrayaan-2 as there were certain tests which could not be done in time for the earlier scheduled January 3 launch,” Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan told reporters .
The details of the tests, which were yet to be performed for the mission, were not disclosed by the space agency.
The Rs 800-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission comes a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on October 22, 2008 from the country’s only spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.
The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, will orbit around the moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere.
After reaching the 100km lunar orbit, lander with rover will separate from the spacecraft and gradually descend to soft land on the moon at a designated spot. The rover’s instruments will observe and study the lunar surface.