The lander and the rover will land on the near side of the Moon, in the south polar region at a latitude of about 70° south on 7 September 2019. The wheeled Pragyan rover will move on the lunar surface and will perform on-site chemical analysis for 14 days (one lunar day). It can relay data to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander, which were launched together on the same rocket. The orbiter will perform its mission for one year in a circularized lunar polar orbit of 100 × 100 km.
Launch of Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled for 15 July 2019 but was called off due to a technical snag noticed while filling the cryogenic engine of the rocket with helium about one hour before launch. It was launched on 22 July 2019 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
A successful landing would make India the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, after the space agencies of the USSR, the USA and China. If successful, Chandrayaan-2 will be the southernmost lunar landing, aiming to land at 67°S or 70°S latitude.
On 12 November 2007, representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and ISRO signed an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project. ISRO would have the prime responsibility for the orbiter and rover, while Roscosmos was to provide the lander. The Moon Impact Probe (MIP) of Chandrayaan-1 orbiter crash-landed on the lunar surface on 14 November 2008, making India the fourth country to place its flag on the Moon. The Indian government approved the Chandrayaan-2 mission in a meeting of the Union Cabinet, held on 18 September 2008 and chaired by Prime MinisterManmohan Singh. The design of the spacecraft was completed in August 2009, with scientists of both countries conducting a joint review.
Although ISRO finalised the payload for Chandrayaan-2 per schedule, the mission was postponed in January 2013 and rescheduled to 2016 because Russia was unable to develop the lander on time. Roscosmos later withdrew in wake of the failure of the Fobos-Grunt mission to Mars, since the technical aspects connected with the Fobos-Grunt mission were also used in the lunar projects, which needed to be reviewed. When Russia cited its inability to provide the lander even by 2015, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.
The spacecraft's launch had been scheduled for March 2018, but was first delayed to April and then to October to conduct further tests on the vehicle. On 19 June 2018, after the program's fourth Comprehensive Technical Review meeting, a number of changes in configuration and landing sequence were planned for implementation, pushing the launch to the first half of 2019. Two of the lander's legs got minor damage during one of the tests in February 2019.
Chandrayaan-2 launch was initially scheduled for 14 July 2019, 21:21 UTC (15 July 2019 at 02:51 IST local time), with the landing expected on 6 September 2019. However, the launch was aborted due to a technical glitch and was rescheduled. The launch occurred on 22 July 2019 at 09:13 UTC (14:43 IST) on the first operational flight of a GSLV MK III M1.
The orbiter will orbit the Moon at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi). The orbiter carries eight scientific instruments; two of them are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1. The approximate launch mass was 2,379 kg (5,245 lb). The Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) will conduct high-resolution observations of the landing site prior to separation of the lander from the orbiter. The orbiter's structure was manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and delivered to ISRO Satellite Centre on 22 June 2015.
The Vikram lander will detach from the orbiter and descend to a low lunar orbit of 30 km × 100 km (19 mi × 62 mi) using its 800 N (180 lbf) liquid main engines. It will then perform a comprehensive check of all its on-board systems before attempting a soft landing, deploy the rover, and perform scientific activities for approximately 14 days. The approximate combined mass of the lander and rover is 1,471 kg (3,243 lb).
The preliminary configuration study of the lander was completed in 2013 by the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad. The lander's propulsion system consists of eight 50 N (11 lbf) thrusters for attitude control and five 800 N (180 lbf) liquid main engines derived from ISRO's 440 N (99 lbf) Liquid Apogee Motor. Initially, the lander design employed four main liquid engines, but a centrally mounted engine was added to handle new requirements of having to orbit the Moon before landing. The additional engine is expected to mitigate upward draft of lunar dust during the soft landing.Vikram can safely land on slopes up to 12°.
Some associated technologies include a high resolution camera, Lander Hazard Detection Avoidance Camera (LHDAC), Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC), an 800 N throttleable liquid main engine,attitude thrusters, Ka band radio altimeter (KaRA), Laser Inertial Reference & Accelerometer Package (LIRAP), and the software needed to run these components. Engineering models of the lander began undergoing ground and aerial tests in late October 2016, in Challakere in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka. ISRO created roughly 10 craters on the surface to help assess the ability of the lander's sensors to select a landing site.
The mission's rover is called Pragyan (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञान, lit. 'Wisdom') Pronunciation (help·info). The rover's mass is about 27 kg (60 lb) and will operate on solar power. The rover will move on 6 wheels traversing 500 meters on the lunar surface at the rate of 1 cm per second, performing on-site chemical analysis and sending the data to the lander, which will relay it to the Mission Control on the Earth. For navigation, the rover uses:
Stereoscopic camera-based 3D vision: two 1 megapixel, monochromatic NAVCAMs in front of the rover will provide the ground control team a 3D view of the surrounding terrain, and help in path-planning by generating a digital elevation model of the terrain.IIT Kanpur contributed to the development of the subsystems for light-based map generation and motion planning for the rover.
Control and motor dynamics: the rover has a rocker-bogie suspension system and six wheels, each driven by independent brushless DC electric motors. Steering is accomplished by differential speed of the wheels or skid steering.
The expected operating time of Pragyan rover is one lunar day or around 14 Earth days as its electronics are not expected to endure the frigid lunar night. However, its power system has a solar-powered sleep/wake-up cycle implemented, which could result in longer service time than planned.
ISRO selected eight scientific instruments for the orbiter, four for the lander, and two for the rover. While it was initially reported that NASA and ESA would participate in the mission by providing some scientific instruments for the orbiter, ISRO in 2010 had clarified that due to weight restrictions it will not be carrying foreign payloads on this mission. However, in an update just a month before launch, an agreement between NASA and ISRO was signed to include a small laser retroreflector from NASA to the lander's payload to measure the distance between the satellites above and the microreflector on the lunar surface.
Dual Frequency L and S bandSynthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad for probing the first few tens of metres of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the Moon.
Chandrayaan-2 launch was initially scheduled for 14 July 2019, 21:21 UTC (15 July 2019 at 02:51 IST local time). However, the launch was aborted 56 minutes and 24 seconds before launch due to a technical glitch and rescheduled to 22 July 2019. Unconfirmed reports later cited a leak in the 'nipple joint' of a helium gas bottle as the cause of cancellation.
Finally Chandrayaan-2 was launched onboard the GSLV MK III M1 launch vehicle on 22 July 2019 at 09:13 UTC (14:43 IST) with better-than-expected apogee as a result of the cryogenic upper stage being burned to depletion, which later eliminated the need for one of the apogee-raising burns during the geocentric phase of mission. This also resulted in the saving of around 40 kg fuel onboard the spacecraft.
Immediately after launch, multiple observations of a slow-moving bright object over Australia were made, which could be related to upper stage venting its propellants after concluding its main burn.
A view of Mission Operations Complex (MOX-1), ISTRAC prior to the fourth Earth-bound burn.
First orbit burn
The first Earth-bound orbit-raising burn was performed as planned on 24 July 2019, 09:22 UTC for duration of 48 seconds. Perigee of Chandrayaan-2 was raised to 230 km (140 mi) with apogee at 45,163 km (28,063 mi).
Second orbit burn
The second Earth-bound orbit-raising burn was performed as planned on 25 July 2019, 19:38 UTC for duration of 883 seconds. Apogee of Chandrayaan-2 was raised to 54,829 km (34,069 mi) with perigee at 251 km (156 mi).
Third orbit burn
The third Earth-bound orbit-raising burn was performed as planned on 29 July 2019, 09:42 UTC for a duration of 989 seconds. Apogee of Chandrayaan-2 was raised to 71,792 km (44,609 mi) with perigee at 276 km (171 mi).
Fourth orbit burn
The fourth Earth-bound orbit-raising burn was performed as planned on 2 August 2019, 09:57 UTC for a duration of 646 seconds. Apogee of Chandrayaan-2 was raised to 89,472 km (55,595 mi) with perigee at 277 km (172 mi).
Fifth orbit burn
The fifth Earth-bound orbit-raising burn was performed as planned on 6 August 2019, 09:34 UTC for a duration of 1041 seconds. Apogee of Chandrayaan-2 was raised to 142,975 km (88,841 mi) with perigee at 276 km (171 mi).
The trans-lunar injection burn was performed as planned on 14 August 2019, 02:21 IST (13 August 2019, 20:51 UTC) for a duration of 1203 seconds.
Lunar orbit insertion
Chandrayaan-2 completed the lunar orbit insertion operation on 20 August 2019, starting from 03:32 UTC. The duration of this manoeuvre was 1738 seconds. The satellite was placed in an elliptical orbit that passed over the polar regions of the Moon, with 18,072 km (11,229 mi) aposelene and 114 km (71 mi) periselene.
Second lunar orbit burn
The second lunar orbit burn was performed as planned on 21 August 2019 starting from 07:20 UTC. The duration of this manoeuvre was 1228 seconds, during which the onboard propulsion system was used. The orbit achieved was of 4,412 km (2,741 mi) aposelene and 118 km (73 mi) periselene.
Two landing sites were selected, each with a landing ellipse of 32 km x 11 km. The prime landing site (PLS54) is at 70.90267 S 22.78110 E (~350 km north of the South Pole-Aitken Basin rim), and the alternate landing site (ALS01) is at 67.874064 S 18.46947 W. The prime site is on a high plain between the cratersManzinus C and Simpelius N. The criteria used to select the landing zones were: south polar region, on the near side, slope less than 15 degrees, boulders less than 50 cm (20 in), crater and boulder distribution, sunlit for at least 14 days, nearby ridges do not shadow the site for long durations.
The planned landing site and its alternate site, are located within the polar LQ30 quadrangle. The surface likely consists of impact melt, possibly mantled by ejecta from the massive South Pole–Aitken basin and mixing by subsequent nearby impacts. The nature of the melt is mostly mafic, meaning it is rich in silicate mineral, magnesium and iron. The region could also offer scientifically valuable rocks from the lunar mantle if the basin impactor excavated all the way through the crust.
Speed and distance of Chandrayaan-2 around the Earth
Distance to Moon's surface
The list below lists most instrumental scientists and engineers who were key to the development of Chandrayaan-2 project: 
^"ISRO developing vehicle to launch small satellites". Frontline. Retrieved 29 August 2018. Making a throttleable engine of 3 kilonewtons or 4 kilonewtons is a totally new development for us. But we wanted to make use of available technologies. We have a LAM [liquid apogee motor] with a 400 newton thruster, and we have been using it on our satellites. We enhanced it to 800 newtons. It was not a major, new design change.
^"Chandrayaan-2: First step towards Indians setting foot on moon in near future". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 July 2019. As solar energy powers the system, a place with good visibility and area of communication was needed. Also, the place where the landing takes place should not have many boulders and craters. The slope for landing should be less than 12 degrees. The South pole has a near-flat surface, with good visibility and sunlight available from the convenience point of view,
^Elumalai, V.; Kharge, Mallikarjun (7 February 2019). "Chandrayaan - II"(PDF). PIB.nic.in. Archived from the original(PDF) on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019. Lander (Vikram) is undergoing final integration tests. Rover (Pragyan) has completed all tests and waiting for the Vikram readiness to undergo further tests.
^Annadurai, Mylswami; Nagesh, G.; Vanitha, Muthayaa (28 June 2017). ""Chandrayaan-2: Lunar Orbiter & Lander Mission", 10th IAA Symposium on The Future of Space Exploration: Towards the Moon Village and Beyond, Torin, Italy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019. Mobility of the Rover in the unknown lunar terrain is accomplished by a Rocker bogie suspension system driven by six wheels. Brushless DC motors are used to drive the wheels to move along the desired path and steering is accomplished by differential speed of the wheels. The wheels are designed after extensive modelling of the wheel-soil interaction, considering the lunar soil properties, sinkage and slippage results from a single wheel test bed. The Rover mobility has been tested in the Lunar test facility wherein the soil simulant, terrain and the gravity of moon are simulated. The limitations w.r.t slope, obstacles, pits in view of slippage/sinkage have been experimentally verified with the analysis results.
^India Heads to the Moon With Chandrayaan 2. David Dickinson, Sky & Telescope. 22 July 2019. Quote: "Vikram carries a seismometer, thermal probe, and an instrument to measure variation and density of lunar surface plasma, along with a laser retro-reflector supplied by NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center."
Launches are separated by dashes ( – ), payloads by dots ( · ), multiple names for the same satellite by slashes ( / ). Cubesats are smaller. Crewed flights are bolded. Launch failures are in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are (enclosed in brackets).