India’s first mission to the moon was Chandraayan -1, launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in October 2008, it operated till August 2009. The spacecraft orbited around the moon at a height of 100 Km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the moon. It discovered the presence of water molecule on the moon’s surface. Our second mission to the moon was Chandrayaan-2 which recently took place. It was India’s lunar mission to the moon’s south polar region. The south polar region is more shadowed than the northern part. India is the first country to do so.
The launcher used by Chandrayaan 2 is India’s most powerful launch vehicle. It is capable of launching a 4-ton class of satellites to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). It is known as GSLV Mk-III which is Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III. Its height is 43.43 meters with a lift-off mass of 640 tonnes. Its components are S200 solid rocket booster, L110 Liquid Stage, C25 Upper Stage.
The Chandrayaan 2 mission was launched from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center on 22 July 2019. The planned orbit has a perigee of 170 km and an apogee of 45475 km. It consists of a lunar orbiter, a lander, and a lunar rover named Pragyan, all developed in India.
Landing on the Moon’s Surface
The Chandrayaan 2 was launched at Sriharikota, soon after the launch in the first stage within minutes of the lift-off, the strap on the rocket booster separates. In the second stage the rocket ignites itself and it further propels the vehicle out of the earth’s orbit into the outer orbit and the payload pairing separates and the C25 third stage ignites that will take vehicle to the outer parts of earth orbit where it will start moving in concentric circles and with each circle it will move away from the earth and close to the lunar orbit. It will orbit the moon and in about 54 days it will land between two huge craters near the south pole of the moon. The maximum landing site is in the center part. The Vikram Lander will help in the landing which is named after Dr. Vikram A Sarabahi, the father of the Indian Space Programme.