India: Last launch tests for GSLV Mk III before historic flight to Moon

Ahead of the launch of the much-awaited Chandrayaan 2, India’s second lunar mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday said that India’s heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), carrying Chandrayaan 2, was undergoing launch checks for their historic flight to the Moon on July 15.

Taking to Twitter, ISRO said that the Chandrayaan 2 will be launched from the launch pad at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 2.51 am (IST) on July 15. “#GSLVMkIII carrying #Chandrayaan2 spacecraft, undergoing launch checks at launch pad in Sriharikota. Launch is scheduled at 2:51AM IST on July 15,” tweeted ISRO.

Chandrayaan 2 will go to Moon’s south polar region where no country has ever gone before. It is India’s first rover-based space mission. The soft landing on Moon’s surface is likely to be on September 6 or September 7.

One of the most complex missions attempted to date, Chandrayaan 2 weighs 3.8-tonne and consists of an orbiter with eight scientific experiments, a lander with three experiments, a rover with two experiments and an experiment from the US space agency NASA.