India to Attempt First Moon Landing

A dress rehearsal for moon walk: Chandrayaan-2 to reach Moon in September first week

Using the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) most powerful rocket, Chandrayaan-2 will reach Earth's orbit, where it'll spend about 16 days before it heads over to the moon. If Chandrayaan-2 is able to find ice in this part of the moon, it will be easier for humans to stay here.

India is going to execute the first space mission which involves a soft landing on the dark side of the moon. In 2008, the space agency launched the Chandrayaan-1 mission, which included an orbiter and a small impact probe created to crash into the lunar surface (as a result, this does not qualify as a soft landing).

The spacecraft will carry the 1.4 tonne lander Vikram -- which in turn will take the 27-kilogramme (60-pound) rover Pragyan -- to a high plain between two craters on the lunar South Pole.

With the launch of the rocket, India is set to become the fourth nation to land a rover on the surface of the moon after US, Russia and China.

This article was originally published by Futurism. The aim of Chandrayaan-2 is to improve the understanding of the Moon.

At the time of launch, the Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter will be capable of communicating with Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu as well as the Vikram Lander.

'There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it.

When Vikram, Chandrayaan-2's lander, touches down on the lunar surface on September 6-7, 2019, India will join an elite group of countries to have achieved this feat.

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The mission will also highlight how far space travel has advanced since Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind during the Apollo 11 mission.

The mission will analyse water on the lunar surface, monitor lunar quakes, dig and study minerals and more.

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, head of space policy at the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi think tank, said Chandrayaan-2 will enhance the nation's reputation "at a time when the global and particularly, the Asian space programmes are becoming increasingly competitive".

It is programmed to be launched over the weekend on the 15th of July from SDSC, Sriharikota. The mission life of the Orbiter is one year and it will be placed in a 100X100 km lunar polar orbit. To be a major player on the world stage, India had realized it needs a "vigorous space program", he said.

July 18, 1980 - Satellite Launch Vehicle-3, India's first experimental satellite launch vehicle, is launched, making India the sixth space-faring nation. At $141 million, the cost of the current lunar mission is far less than the Apollo mission's $25 billion spend.

Most experts say the geo-strategic stakes are small - but that India's low-priced model could win commercial satellite and orbiting deals. According to ISRO, the mission is to discover the origin of the moon.

Experts say India's focus on its space program reflects the aspirations of its young population.

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