Chandrayaan- 2, the Indian Space Research Agency's (ISRO) second lunar mission, is going to land a rover on the south pole of the moon.
The cost of the entire mission is INR 800 crore - much cheaper than the cost of Hollywood's 2014 sci-fi blockbuster "Interstellar", that cost a whopping INR 1,062 crore ($165 million).
ISRO Satellite Centre director Dr M Annadorai told Bangalore Mirror that images obtained by the Chandrayaan-1 during its lunar odyssey would guide the Lander to a "safe" spot. ISRO has been taking strict measurements on limiting wastage and using resources to their full extent which has brought down the cost of such rather costly and valuable mission to the moon. In fact, Isro's earlier Mars mission (Rs 470 crore) launched in 2013 was also cheaper than another Hollywood space movie "Gravity" (whose budget was Rs 644 crore or $100 million) made in the same year. "The ideal timing for the launch comes only once in a month". This proved instrumental in bringing the cost down to less than the budget of a Hollywood movie.
The space agency is planning to launch Chandrayan-2 Mission around April this year. ISRO has chosen GSLV Mk II to launch the spacecraft. The orbiter will be responsible for cruising amidst the vacuum of the universe at a set trajectory. The rover in itself is a marvel of technology with state-of-the-art equipment. The rover has been designed in such a way that it will have power to spend a lunar day or 14 Earth days on the moon's surface and walk up to 150-200 km. If we launch between April and November we won't get the ideal dawn-to-dusk landing and experiment time due to moon eclipses, therefore, we will avoid the launch in between.
Sivan noted that the window to launch the mission is between April and November this year. However, according to the reports, the space agency will have to keep in mind various other factors such as moon's relative position with respect to the Earth to settle on a launch date. Both Russia's Luna and NASA's Apollo mission were headed towards the equatorial region of the moon.
TOI reported the incident with Russia's Phobos-Grunt mission for Mars which failed. Unlike the Chandrayaan-1, where Moon Impact Probe (MIP) crash-landed on the surface of the Moon, the Chandrayaan-2 will soft-land its Lander with Rover on the lunar surface to conduct the next level of scientific studies. This is the reason why, ISRO settled for indigenous rover and lander developed and assembled in Chitradurga, Mahendragiri, Bengaluru, etc.