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ISRO scientists work on the orbiter vehicle and lander of Chandrayaan-2 in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

India's enterprising space mission to the Lunar South Pole, the Chandrayaan-2, is set to be launched on July 15. The mission will give India a headway into discovering more about our luminous neighbour, thereby expanding the country's footprint in space.

1) The Chandrayaan-2 is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lunar mission comprising an orbiter and lander (Vikram) carrying a rover (Pragyan).

2) The moon is the closest cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented. But its south polar region has never been explored by any country before.

3) This is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon's south polar region which has a lunar surface area much larger than that of the North Pole and remains in shadow.

4) The GSLV Mk-III which will carry Chandrayaan 2 to its designated orbit is India's most powerful launcher to date.

5) The mission life of the Orbiter is one year and the metre-long rover has an expected life of 14 Earth days (one lunar day).

6) In order to test the spacecraft's lander Vikram, ISRO recreated lunar surface at its Lunar Terrain Test Facility in Challakere Science City, Bengaluru.

7) The soil used for this test was sourced from a few sites near Salem in Tamil Nadu. Geologists of various national agencies had found that it had the ‘anorthosite’ rock that somewhat matches lunar soil in composition and features.

8) The name Vikram means valour in Hindi. It was named after the father of the Indian Space Programme, Vikram Sarabhai.

9) Chandrayaan-2 will have 14 Indian payloads or study devices including scientific ones to study topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution, and surface chemical composition.

10) After its launch on July15, it will take 53 to 54 days to travel the 3.84 lakh km from the earth to the moon’s surface.

(With inputs from ISRO)

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