Science & Technology

Anticipation mounts as Indian lunar probe approaches landing date

New Delhi, Aug 21 (EFE).- Anticipation has been growing in India over the possible lunar landing of the Chandrayaan-3 space mission on the unexplored south pole of the Moon as the scheduled touchdown on Wednesday gets closer, with several activities being organized to support and follow the mission in its decisive phase.

In order to celebrate what may possibly be the biggest feat of India’s space program, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) urged users on the social network X (previously known as Twitter) to share messages of support and stories about their relationship with the Moon.

“I would like get the opportunity to congratulate Chandrayaan-3 for a perfect landing on the Moon’s surface. All the Indians are waiting for the moment when this success is achieved. My best wishes for Chandrayaan-3’s success,” read one of the several messages to the mission on X.

Moreover, ISRO had announced in a statement on Monday that it would telecast the landing – scheduled for 6.04 pm on Wednesday – live.

The broadcast would be available on the space agency’s website as well as its YouTube and Facebook pages and Indian state broadcaster Doordarshan.

ISRO urged schools and other educational institutions to play the coverage for their students and teachers to capture the interest of young children.

Amid growing anticipation, on Monday ISRO released several photos of the Moon captured by Chandrayaan-3, which mark significant points of the satellite’s geography such as craters and the former lunar sea of Humboldt.

Since taking off on Jul. 14, the Indian mission had been involved in a kind of space race against the Russian mission Luna-25 – which took off on Aug. 11 – to be the first to reach the lunar south pole.

However, as the Russian probe crashed against the Moon’s surface on Sunday while trying to land two days before Chandrayaan-3, the Indian mission now has the chance to become the only one to touch down in the area.

In 2019, Chandrayaan-3’s predecessor had also crashed on the Moon due to technical problems while trying to attempt a landing.

If successful, the Indian probe – which includes a landing module and a rover – would carry out scientific experiments and collect data on the mineral composition of Earth’s natural satellite along with verifying the possible presence of water in the region.

The first Indian lunar mission – launched in 2008 – had discovered direct evidence of water’s presence on the Moon as part of data that it collected while orbiting the celestial body over 3,400 times, though it did not attempt a landing. EFE


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