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India's new Moon launch: Chandrayaan-2

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:04 am
by brian livesey
Yesterday, India launched its 4 ton lunar explorer from an island in the Bay of Bengal, on its heavy launch rocket GSLV MK-111 ( looking not unlike an Ariane ). The launch was intended for July 15, but an onboard helium leak led to a launch cancellation at the last minute.
Chandrayaan-2 consists of a lunar orbiter, lander and 6-wheeled rover. After orbiting the Earth for 23 days, the craft will head for the Moon where, hopefully, the rover will explore the huge Aitkin basin at the lunar South Pole. The basin is considered to be a region rich in resources, including "rare earths".
Some in the Indian community are highly critical of India's involvement in space exploration, saying that the country has more pressing concerns and that its space missions are exercises in prestige.
Pakistan has announced that it intends to send an astronaut into orbit in 2022.