Science & Technology

Countdown begins for India’s lunar landing mission

New Delhi, Jul 13 (EFE).- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said it would launch its third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 on Friday, marking the second attempt by the country to land on the unexplored south pole of the Moon since 2019.

“The countdown leading to the launch tomorrow at 14:35:17 Hrs. IST has commenced,” ISRO tweeted on Thursday.

The launch will take place at the Satish Dhawan Space Center, a rocket launch facility situated in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO Chairman Sreedhara Somanath told local media that Chandrayaan-3 would orbit the earth a few times before slowly travelling towards the moon over the next 30 days.

“If all goes well, we are looking at a lunar soft-landing around 23rd August,” Somanath told media outlets at the Changalamman Devi temple near the spaceport, where he and other officials offered prayers ahead of the launch.

If everything goes well, the Chandrayaan-3 would become the world’s first lunar mission to soft-land near the south pole of the moon.

According to ISRO, the objective of the lunar mission is to reach the unexplored south pole of the Moon, landing a rover on the surface to carry out in-situ scientific experiments and collect data.

If the mission succeeds, Chandrayaan-3 will turn India into the fourth member of a small group of nations to have landed on the Moon, after Russia, the United States and China.

Chandrayaan-3 is the continuation of the Chandrayaan-2 mission that took off on Jul. 22, 2019 and was put into Moon’s orbit successfully but turned out to be a failure as the Indian space agency lost contact with the lunar probe on the morning of Sep. 6, around 20 minutes after the landing procedure was initiated.

India’ first lunar mission in the series was Chandrayaan-1, which was put in the lunar orbit in November 2008 that circled the moon more than 3,400 times, but did not attempt a landing.

However, Indian scientists expect Friday’s launch to be successful as they have introduced several changes to improve the mission’s landing capability for a soft touchdown.

India has one of the most active space programs in the world. It first began to send satellites in Earth’s orbit in 1999.

Its missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the cost-effective launching of dozens of satellites in one go, has led to several countries signing deals with the Indian space agency to put their small-size satellites into orbit. EFE


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