The country awaits with bated breath the landing of Chandrayaan -2 moon mission on the surface of the moon at around 1:55 am on Saturday. A first, for any country to explore the lunar south pole and the fourth country to achieve the feat of a soft landing on the lunar surface, India will soon join the elite club of the US, Russia and China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reach Bengaluru tonight at the ISRO space centre to witness the historic moment. About 70 high school students from across the country will also join him.
Optimistic and nervous at the same time, pretty much sums up the mood at ISRO, ahead of Saturday’s highly crucial event of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. “Let’s pray for the successful soft-landing”, said one of the officials at ISRO.
“Everybody is tight-lipped. I am also tight lipped. Let the event be over”, a senior official associated with the mission said on Thursday.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan recently said the space agency “had done everything humanly possible” for the mission’s success and Chandrayaan 2 is the “most complex mission ever undertaken by ISRO”.
According to the Indian space agency, Vikram is scheduled to powered descent between 1 am to 2 am on September 7. The touchdown on the Moon’s south polar region will be between 1.30 am – 2.30 am, ISRO said.
After the touchdown, the rover Pragyan will roll down between 5.30 am and 6.30 am to carry out the research for which it was designed like search for water on the lunar surface, and other resources there. Pragyan will carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days.
Meanwhile, Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will continue to go around the Moon in an orbit of 96 km x 125 km and continue to do so for the next one year, and study the lunar atmosphere while revolving around the Moon.
ISRO took to Twitter on Friday to share a video with to “know more about Vikram- Chandrayaan-2’s Lander and the different stages of its journey to the Moon’s south polar region! https://youtu.be/qcAScK5lddw #ISRO #Moonmission #Chandrayaan2″
Watch this video to find out more about Vikram — Chandrayaan 2’s Lander — and the different stages of its journey to the Moon’s south polar region! https://t.co/2qBLe0T710#ISRO #Moonmission #Chandrayaan2
— ISRO (@isro) September 5, 2019
On July 22, Rs978 crore worth Chandrayaan-2 was launched into the space by India’s heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style off from Sriharikota space centre in Andhra Pradesh in its second attempt.