Countdown begins for launch of Chandrayaan-II tomorrow

Published: Jul 14, 2019, 12:22 IST | mid-day online desk

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the countdown started at 6.51 am today

Countdown begins for launch of Chandrayaan-II tomorrow
Representational image

Andhra Pradesh: The 20-hour countdown began for the launch of Chandrayaan-2, India's Moon mission to the unexplored south polar region of Earth's natural satellite on Sunday morning. India's second lunar spacecraft will be launched at 2:51 am on Monday onboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated that the countdown started at 6.51 am today. Chandrayaan-2, which has home-grown technology, will explore a region of Moon where no mission has ever set foot. According to Kailasavadivoo Sivan, ISRO Chairman, the landing site, at a latitude of about 70 degrees south, is the southernmost for any mission till date. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover together referred to as "composite body". The probe's total mass is 3.8 ton and it is expected to land on Moon's south polar region on September 6 or 7 this year.

It will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface and this mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to carry out a soft landing on Moon. Ahead of the launch, Sivan on Saturday visited Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala. After visiting the shrine, he said, "On Monday early morning, we are going to launch the most important and prestigious mission, Chandrayaan-2. A GSLV Mark-III vehicle is going to be used for the mission. After a successful launch, it will take nearly two months to land on the South Pole of Moon." He said, "In future, the nation will depend more on planetary missions. After the country's first Moon mission Chandrayaan 1, which was launched in October 2008, we are now entering into Chandrayaan-2 mission."

Also Read: India to launch Chandrayaan-2 in second week of July

Project Director of Chandrayaan-1, Mylswamy Annadurai added, "The data showed evidence for water in the exosphere of Moon, on the surface of Moon and also sub-surface and it triggered back to the Moon slogan. The South Pole is more of a resourceful place in case man has to land in future." On the significance of the expedition, he stated, "From a scientific point of view, there are also craters which have gone very deep into Moon and that will tell about possible origin and evolution of the solar system." On Thursday, ISRO had conducted checks on the GSLV rocket at the launch pad in Sriharikota.

Also Read: ISRO chief: Preparations underway for launch of Chandrayaan-2

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