On July 15, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 will leave the Earth to begin its journey to the Moon, 3.84 lakh kilometres away. India's second moon mission is set to be the country's most ambitious scientific space expedition. The main objectives of Chandrayaan-2 are to demonstrate the ability to make a soft landing on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface.
In 2008, India's maiden moon mission - Chandrayaan-1 was launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). It was a significant step in space technology because Isro had thus far sent a satellite up to only around 36,000 km in space, whereas Chandrayaan-1 travelled 10 times as far, escaping earth’s gravity pull in doing so, to settle into a lunar orbit.
Chandrayaan-1 was seen as a precursor to a manned mission to the moon. While, Chandrayaan-2 is not a manned mission, scientists see this mission as the first step towards Indians setting foot on the moon sometime in the future.
Take a look at India's moon mission journey from the launch of Chandrayaan-1 to Chandrayaan-2:
Over 100 eminent Indian scientists in the fields of planetary and space sciences, Earth sciences, physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics and engineering and communication sciences discuss and approve the Task Force recommendation to launch a probe to the moon.
August 15, 2000
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announces the Chandrayaan mission during his Independence Day speech
The government gives its approval for the moon mission.
October 22, 2008
Chandrayaan-1 launches successfully from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota using four-stage PSLV launch vehicle.
November 26, 2008
The indigenous Terrain Mapping Camera, which was first activated on October 29, 2008, acquires images of peaks and craters. This comes as a surprise to Isro officials because the Moon consists mostly of craters.
March 25, 2009
Chandrayaan-1 beams back its first images of the earth in its entirety.
ISRO announces in January 2009 the completion of the mapping of the Apollo Moon missions landing sites by the orbiter, using multiple payloads. Six of the sites have been mapped including landing sites of Apollo 15 and Apollo 17.
January 29, 2009
Scientists from India, Europe, and the US conduct a high-level review of Chandrayaan-1 after the spacecraft completed its first 100 days in space.
August 28, 2009 - end of the mission
The mission was expected to operate for two years. However, communication with the spacecraft was suddenly lost. The probe had operated for 312 days. The craft had been expected to remain in orbit for approximately another 1000 days and to crash into the lunar surface in late 2012, although in 2016 it was found to still be in orbit.
A member of the science advisory board of Chandrayaan-1 said that it is difficult to ascertain reasons for the loss of contact.
Although the mission was less than 10 months in duration, and less than half the intended two years in length, a review by scientists termed the mission successful, as it had completed 95% of its primary objectives.
November 12, 2007
Representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Isro sign an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project.
September 18, 2008
Government approves the mission to the moon in a meeting chaired by PM Manmohan Singh.
Isro and Roscosmos complete the design of Chandrayaan-2 and it is reviewed by India and Russia.
The mission is repeatedly postponed and re-scheduled because of Russia's delay in developing the lander on time. Eventually, Roscosmos withdraws from the agreement. India decides to develop the lunar mission independently.
Once again the launch date of the mission is postponed to conduct further tests on the vehicle.
June 28, 2019
GSLV MkIII-M1/Chandrayaan 2: Assembly of the batteries for all stages of launch vehicle completed
June 29, 2019
Rover after completion of all tests integrated with lander Vikram
June 30, 2019
Electrical checks and pyro arming of the vehicle completed.
Launch vehicle battery charging completed.
July 1, 2019
Chandrayaan -2 getting ready for integration with GSLV launcher.
July 2, 2019
— Equipment bay camera cowling assembly completed.
— Radio frequency checks completed with Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft.
— Payload fairing assembly in progress.
July 4, 2019
— Integration of encapsulated assembly of Chandrayaan-2 with launch vehicle completed.
July 5, 2019
— Link checks for lander & orbiter from ground station in progress.
— Vehicle phase 3 level 2A checks completed.
July 6, 2019
— Launch vehicle ready for movement to launch pad
July 7, 2019
— GSLV MkIII-M1 moved to launch pad.
— Spacecraft is powered and health check in progress.
July 8, 2019
— Full Dress Rehearsal-1 (FDR-1) in progress.
July 9, 2019
— Routing and termination of pyros, pressure sensors, Umbilical Connection Unit(UCU) separation connector cables end to end checks completed.
July 10, 2019
— Shroud final assembly completed
— Cryogenic stage (C25) On Board Elementary checks completed
— Liquid stage (L110) control system checks completed
July 11, 2019
— Launch Vehicle battery charging carried out.
— Routine launch related checks in-progress.
July 12, 2019
— Launch rehearsal completed.
— Pre fill pressurisation of propellant tanks completed.July 15, 2019
Chandrayaan-2 was scheduled to be launched, but it was put off due to technical snag. Less than an hour before the scheduled lift-off, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) informed of the launch being put off due to the snag. "It is not possible to carry out the launch within the window," said the mission director. The new schedule will be announced later. The launch was scheduled to have taken place at 2.51 am from the second launchpad at Sriharikota’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC). The countdown to the launch was put on hold at 56 minutes and 24 seconds.
September 6, 2019
Chandrayaan-2 is expected to land on September 6, 2019.