NEW DELHI, July 14 (Xinhua) — The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Sunday that it was all set to launch second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2.
The heavy-lift rocket GSLV-Mark-3 carrying Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, off the Bay of Bengal coast in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, at 2:51 a.m. local time on Monday.
“The launch countdown of GSLV MkIII-M1/Chandrayaan-2 commenced today at 6:51 a.m. (local time). The launch is scheduled at 2:51 a.m. (local time) on July 15 (Monday),” ISRO said. “UH25 (fuel) filling of liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV MkIII-M1 completed. Propellant filling of liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV MkIII-M1 completed.”
Officials said the powerful 3.85-ton rocket will put Chandrayaan-2 in a highly elliptical orbit around the earth, following which its orbit will be raised through a series of maneuvers by remote by the ISRO scientists. Eventually, it will be taken out of the earth’s orbit and made to reach the sphere of influence of the moon.
Officials said the entire mission has a life of one year.
According to the state-run broadcaster All India Radio, President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to witness the launch from Sriharikota.
Reports said if India succeeds in this endeavour, it will become the fourth country to soft-land spacecraft on the lunar surface after the United States, Russia and China. Israel tried earlier this year but failed.