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"15 Minutes Of Terror" Before Chandrayaan 2 Lands On Moon Says ISRO Chief
Chandrayaan 2 landing: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru around midnight to watch the event.
"15 Minutes Of Terror" Before Chandrayaan 2 Lands On Moon, Says ISRO Chief
New Delhi: India's ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to make a soft-landing on the surface of the moon at 1:55 am on Saturday. The tricky manoeuvre of 35 km, till the lander and the rover land on the moon's surface without any injury, will be "15 minutes of terror" even for the top scientists at space agency ISRO.
"It is like suddenly somebody comes and gives you a newborn baby in your hands. Will you be able to hold without proper support? The baby will move this way that way but we should hold it. It like that, the lander will go this way or that but at the same time it has to be brought just like a baby," ISRO chief Dr. K Sivan told NDTV.
Vikram the moon lander that separated from its orbiting mothership has already performed two manoeuvres to lower its altitude for a perfect touchdown between 1:30 am and 2:30 am on Saturday.
"This is a very complex process, and it is new to us, even for the people who have already done it, every time, it is a complex process, Here we are doing for the first time, so it will be fifteen minutes of terror for us," ISRO chief said.
Also Read: India's Chandrayaan 2 To Land Tonight On Less Explored Part Of Moon
The landing is especially difficult on the moon because the atmosphere is very thin and parachutes cannot be used to slow down.
PM Narendra Modi said he is "extremely excited" to be at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru tonight to watch the extraordinary moment in the history of India's space programme. With PM Modi, 60 high school students from across the country will also witness the historical moment. The students cleared an online space quiz last month.
India is all set to become the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon. The others in the list are Russia, the United States, and China.
"We do realise that space technology and space activity are always fraught with a lot of ifs and buts. No matter what you may have done, there could always be surprises... Our effort is to do best of the preparation, and then be prepared for the worst," former ISRO chairman Dr AS Kiran Kumar told NDTV.
Chandrayaan 2 lifted off from the ISRO's spaceport at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh on July 22. The launch was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch.
The entire cost of the mission is about Rs 1000 crore which is compatible way too less when compared with missions by other countries.
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