Chandrayaan-2 is India’s planned second mission to the Moon, which is expected to launch in 2019. It is a follow-up mission from the Chandrayaan-1 mission that assisted in confirming the presence of water/hydroxyl on the Moon in 2009.
Chandrayaan-2 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, aboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket.
According to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the new mission will consist of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The orbiter will perform mapping from an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), while the lander will make a soft landing on the surface and send out the rover.
The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will circle the Moon and provide information about its surface, ISRO stated. “The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice,” ISRO said on its website.
The mission will send a small, 20-kilogram (44 lbs.), six-wheeled rover to the surface; the rover will move semi-autonomously, examining the lunar regolith’s composition.
Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander is expected to land around Sept. 6.