Chanrayaan-2 is scheduled to soft-land on early Saturday morning. (Photo/Twitter@isro)
Chanrayaan-2 is scheduled to soft-land on early Saturday morning. (Photo/Twitter@isro)

India awaits Chandrayaan-2 landing with bated breath

ANI | Updated: Sep 06, 2019 20:38 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 6 (ANI): India is all set to script history with the landing of its ambitious moon mission Chandrayaan-2 on the south pole of the lunar surface at 1:55 am on Saturday.

Chandrayaan-2 lander, Vikram, will make a touchdown between two craters at the moon between 1:30 am and 2:30 am on Saturday.

It's rover Pragyan, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit, will roll out of the lander -- Vikram -- between 5:30 am to 6:30 am to carry out experiments on the surface.

Pragyan weights 27 kilograms, has 6-wheels and can travel up to 500 m (0.5 km) at a speed of 1 cm per second, and leverages solar energy for its functioning.

Once at the lunar surface, Vikram and Pragyan will be functioning for one lunar day or 14 earth days while the mission life of Chandrayaan-2's orbiter will be one year.

Vikram lander weighs 1,471 kilograms and can communicate with Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bangaluru, as well as with the Orbiter and Pragyan rover. As per the ISRO, the lander is designed to execute a soft-landing on the lunar surface at a touchdown velocity of 2 metres per second.

The mission's payloads consist of Terrain Mapping Camera-2, Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer, Solar X-Ray Monitor, Imaging IR Spectrometer among others.

The objective of Chandrayaan-2, which was launched on July 22, to expand the lunar scientific knowledge through a detailed study of topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics and tenuous lunar atmosphere leading to a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon. It also aims at developing and demonstrating key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-2 is India's first attempt at soft-landing on the surface of the moon. With a success rate of 52 per cent, a total number of 38 soft landing attempts on the moon have been made by the space agencies so far.

This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to conduct a soft-landing on the moon and the first to land near the lunar south pole.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru around midnight to watch the final descend of Chandrayaan-2. Over 60 high school students across the country who cleared an online space quiz last month will watch the historic event with Modi.

India's fully-indigenous and second mission to the moon was approved by the cabinet in September 2008, just before the launch of Chandrayaan 1. (ANI)