In a historic move, the Indian Space Research Organisation is ready to launch the Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon – a group of three spacecraft that will orbit, land, and rove the lunar surface.
If the landing is successful, India will become only the fourth nation to soft land on the Moon, following the Soviet Union, the United States, and China.
The mission is set to launch on the GSLV Mk-III rocket from the Second Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the eastern Indian coast on Sunday, 14 July at 21:21 UTC (19:21 EDT) – which will be 02:51 Indian Standard Time at the launch site on 15 July 2019.
History, launch, and 54-day flight to the Moon:
The fact that India’s first soft lunar landing mission’s launch coincides within two days of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch is completely coincidental.
The mission was originally targeted to launch in 2011 as a joint Indian-Russian venture, with the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, providing the lunar Lander while the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) provided the Orbiter and the Rover.
Natural delays in design and build as well as Roscosmos’ financial difficulties delayed the mission ...