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Chandrayaan-2 : Modi to watch Vikram’s landing with school kids at ISRO HQ

Chandrayaan-2 : Modi to watch Vikram’s landing with school kids at ISRO HQ


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with nearly 70 school students, will witness the landing of India’s ambitious Moon mission live at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)’s headquarters in Bengaluru.

He will watch live Chandrayaan-2‘s landing module Vikram trying to pull off a historic soft-landing on the South Pole of lunar surface in the early hours of Saturday.

A statement released by the PM office on Friday said, Modi evinced personal interest in the mission and termed it as “Indian at heart, Indian at spirit! What would make every Indian overwhelmed is the fact that is a fully indigenous mission”.

Modi will also interact with the winners of the Space Quiz conducted for students of Class 8th to 10th across India. Two toppers in ISRO’s online space quiz contest from each State and Union Territory have been invited by the space agency to watch the historic event. Modi’s visit could boost the morale of the Indian space scientists and be an inspiration to the young to develop an innovative mind and inquiring spirit.

According to ISRO’s planning, about an hour after the midnight of September 6-7, Vikram will enter a powered descent mode. It will start lowering itself around 1:30 am. Its four engines will be switched off whereas the central engine alone will work. Its speed during descent will be reduced or adjusted from 1.6 km per second. These are apparently the last 15 crucial minutes for the mission team.

Once it lands, the inherent rover Pragyan will wait for two hours for the slow moon dust to settle down. After 3 hours and 15 minutes, the six-wheeled rover will start moving out, taking 45 minutes to touch down on the Moon’s surface.

ISRO will put out the live updates of the mission on its website—(isro.gov.in) while live stream of the launch will be available various other channels including those of the PIB India and Doordarshan National. ISRO will also post updates on its official Twitter handle.

Just five month back, in April this year, an Israeli attempt to make a soft landing on Moon ended in failure. Its Beresheet spacecraft was unable to slow down sufficiently enough and crash-landed. Of a total of 109 missions to the Moon so far – flybys, orbiters, landers, rovers, and human landings – 41 have been unsuccessful.

But it is also a fact that after the Moon exploration resumed in the 1990s following a two-decade lull, Beresheet was the first and the only failure. Three of these missions, all from China, have made soft landings on the Moon. Others were flybys or orbiter missions and did not involve landing.


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