Science

How to watch the historic Indian Chandrayaan-2 moon landing today

How to watch the historic Indian Chandrayaan-2 moon landing today”

"The Vikram lander descent was (ongoing) as planned and normal performance was observed", ISRO chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan said in the control room at the southern city of Bangalore. He said the data is being analysed.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was present at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission operation complex at Bengaluru, told press following the communications loss that, "it is not a small thing that we have achieved".

"India is one step closer to achieving its space superpower ambitions", CNN reported on Thursday, adding that the country will join the elite club of the United States, China and Russian Federation that have made a soft landing on the moon. Taking to microblogging site Twitter, ISRO confirmed, "This is Mission Control Centre".

According to the ISRO, there have been 38 soft landing attempts on the Moon to date, with a success rate of 52 per cent - not counting Chandrayaan 2.

India was aiming to join the United States, Soviet Union/Russia and China as the only nations to have soft-landed on the moon.

India, he added, is proud of its scientists.

The Prime Minister will also address the nation at 8 a.m. today from ISRO Control Centre. Let us move with courage.

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National Geographic has roped in former NASA astronaut Jerry M. Linenger - he flew aboard the US Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1997 and lived on the Russian Space Station Mir for over four months - to serve as an expert voice for their coverage of Chandrayaan-2 landing.

A major factor that kept costs low was the slow velocity of the journey.

The Chandrayaan 2 lifted off from its launch pad at Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota on July 23 aboard the giant heavy-lift rocket GSLV Mark 3. The Americans took a direct route, while ISRO slowly raised the Chandrayaan-2's Earth orbit until only a short fuel burn was needed to reach a lunar transfer trajectory, the necessary step to reach a lunar orbit.

Mr Sivan had earlier described the final 15-minute descent period as "15 minutes of terror".

Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 mission undertaken more than a decade ago, comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan).

In its 14-day life, the rover (called Pragyan - wisdom in Sanskrit) can travel up to a half a kilometre from the lander and will send data and images back to Earth for analysis. The orbiter should remain in service for roughly a year.



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