India's Chandrayaan 2 lunar mission to the Moon has successfully launched today, 22 July 2019 (at 0913 GMT) from its space centre in Sriharikota, near the Bay of Bengal.
Already having separated from its launcher's second stage and now in Earth orbit, Chandrayaan 2 is expected to touchdown somewhere within the near region of the lunar South Pole some time in early September 2019.
The mission includes both a lander and rover (also with an orbiter overhead), and all three include various research instruments (13 of Indian, 1 of NASA) used in areas, for example: looking for water and minerals signatures, and the study of moonquakes and possible future landing sites...amongst other activities. The orbiter has eight instruments onboard, the lander with four (including the NASA instrument), while the rover has the remaining two.
On touchdown, the solar-powered rover will off-load from the lander after some four hours or so, where it will then mainly rove around the surface during lunar day-long (14 earth days) stints. Note, just like the Chang'e 4 rover setup, the Chandrayaan 2 rover (named as Pragyan) might have to power-down for a couple of earth days (temperature purchases on the electronics), during when the high sun is overhead. However, given that its location is in the far 70-degrees south on the lunar surface, perhaps, such power-down options can be shortened?
Twin image set below: left shows Chandrayaan 2 separation, right shows the lander and rover (credit: ISRO)
Bottom image: possible landing sites.
Edited by Jayem, 22 July 2019 - 06:42 PM.