06 September 2019
Bengaluru: In a few hours from now, roughly 14 hours if everything goes as per plan, India will become the first country in the world to land a spacecraft near moon’s South Pole, thus creating a milestone in the country’s history of space research.
Vikram, the lander of Chandrayaan-2 is primed to touch down on the uncharted southern polar region of the moon roughly between 1.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m.
Moreover, soft landing on the surface of moon is a major challenge as soft-landing missions of other agencies have had 37% success, the latest being the crashing of Israeli robotic lander Beresheet on moon on April 11.
“We are going to land on moon for the first time, and the first to land near the moon’s south pole. We are going to be in a place where we [or others] might land later. The soft-landing of September 7 seems terrifying,” Dr K Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) had said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Peenya around midnight to watch the event as it happens. As many as 74 high school students including two from Odisha who cleared an online space quiz last month will be watching the special moment as special guests, apart from hundreds of engineers operating the mission operations.
While ISRO will telecast it live on Doordarshan, National Geographic with astronaut Jerry Linenger will host a live show.