India’s ambitious moon mission, Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to make a soft-landing on the surface of the moon at 1.55 am on Saturday. To complete a soft landing without any injury landing it still has to make a 30km of maneuver. Top scientists at space agency ISRO, said it will be “15 minutes of terror”.
ISRO chief Dr. K Sivan told reporters, “It is like suddenly somebody comes and gives you a newborn baby in your hands. Will you be able to hold without proper support? The baby will move this way that way but we should hold it. It like that, the lander will go this way or that but at the same time it has to be brought just like a baby.”
On Saturday, between 1:30 am and 2:30 am, the moon lander Vikaram that separated from its orbiting mothership has already performed two maneuvers to lower its altitude to perfectly touch the ground.
“This is a very very complex process, and it is new to us, even for the people who have already done it, every time, it is a complex process, Here we are doing for the first time, so it will be fifteen minutes of terror for us,” Dr. Sivan said.
To watch the historical moment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru around midnight. Over 60 high school students all over the country who were selected by an online quiz competition, will be present there to watch the soft landing of the mission with the PM.
The Rs 978 crore unmanned moon mission is expected to shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon — its South Polar region. Mr. Sivan highlighted that Chandrayaan 2 is going to explore the South Pole of the moon where nobody else has gone.
After the success of the mission, India will become the fourth nation after the United States, Russia, and China to land a spacecraft on the moon. Chandrayaan 2 began its journey from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) spaceport at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh on July 22. The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry.