Bengaluru: India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will now be launched in the January-March window in 2019 instead of later this year as the design was changed to enable it land on the lunar surface, a top ISRO official said on Sunday.
“We have planned to launch Chandrayaan mission in January 3. We are fixing with that (date) and targeting that. But that is an open window. We can go up to March also. As we are coming closer (the date), we may miss the target,” he said.
The reason for postponing the mission was that there were certain important changes made in the design so that it could easily land on the lunar surface, he said. He was speaking on the sidelines of a function, where bust of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the architect of the Indian space mission, was unveiled.
Asked why the weight of Chandrayaan-2 was increased by 600 kg, he said ISRO noticed during experiments that after the moon lander was ejected, the satellite would shake. So they decided that the design modification was required for landing and mass has to be increased.
22 satellites set to launch in 2019
- The space agency would launch 22 satellites from February to December in 2019, the maximum in any year in the history of ISRO
- This tight schedule of programmes ISRO is doing for the first time. It has set a target.So many missions in a year is a huge target for the first time in the history of ISRO.
- The remaining months of 2018 would also be very hectic for ISRO as it plans to launch at least two missions every month, he said.
- Next mission is PSLV C42, which will launch NOVASAT and S1-4. These two satellites are commercial satellites from the UK. It is a commercial mission and is planned in September.
ISRO set to launch TV channel on science
- The ISRO is planning to launch a TV channel to conduct training camps for school students from Class VIII to Class X.
- The ISRO will select students and organise training camps for 25 to 30 days. The students will be allowed to visit labs.
- On plans to launch ISRO TV to expand its outreach across the country. India doesn’t have any science TV channel.
(With inputs from PTI)