Sorting by


What time is the India moon landing today? How to watch a live stream and when Chandrayaan-3 will touch down

India will make its second attempt to land on the Moon today, days after a similar Russian lander crashed.

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft will attempt to land a rover on the lunar south pole – in what would be a world first – just over a month after it blasted off from a launch pad in Sriharikota.

Prayers were held in temples, mosques and churches across India on Wednesday morning, and schoolchildren waved the Indian flag as they waited for live screenings of the landing.

They will be hoping for more success than Russia had with its Luna-25 spacecraft, which spun out of control and crashed into the Moon on Monday after a problem preparing for pre-landing orbit.

What time is the Indian Moon landing?

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft will attempt to put down its Vikram lander at 1.34pm BST.

Vikram detached from its propulsion module last week and has been sending back images of the Moon’s surface since entering lunar orbit on 5 August. Vikram is carrying a 26kg rover named Pragyaan, the Sanskrit word for wisdom, which it will release onto the Moon.

The landing will be streamed live on the ISRO YouTube channel, which you can find here. The stream begins at 12.50pm BST.

What is the purpose of the mission?

Chandrayaan is the word for “Moon craft” in Sanskrit. The Chandrayaan mission is attempting to land a rover softly on the surface. A successful landing would make India the fourth country – after the US, the Soviet Union and China – to achieve the feat.

The landing is set to take place near the little-explored south pole of the Moon. The six-wheeled lander and rover module is configured with payloads that would provide data to the scientists on the properties of lunar soil and rocks, including chemical and elemental compositions, said Dr Jitendra Singh, minister for science and technology.

Rough terrain makes a south pole landing difficult, and a first landing would be historic. The region’s water ice could supply fuel, oxygen and drinking water for future missions.

Carla Filotico, a partner and managing director at consultancy SpaceTec Partners, said: “Landing on the south pole would actually allow India to explore if there is water ice on the Moon. And this is very important for cumulative data and science on the geology of the Moon.”

For India, a successful Moon landing would mark its emergence as a space power as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government looks to spur investment in private space launches and related satellite-based businesses.

The country’s £100m Chandrayaan-2 mission failed in 2019, when it entered the lunar orbit but lost touch with its lander, which crashed while making its final descent.

ISRO chairman Sreedhara Panicker Somanath said the main objective of the mission this time is a safe and soft landing on the Moon.

He said the Indian space agency had perfected the art of reaching the Moon, “but it is the landing that the agency is working on”.

Numerous countries and private companies are in a race to successfully land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.

In April, a Japanese company’s spacecraft apparently crashed while attempting to land on the Moon. An Israeli non-profit tried to achieve a similar feat in 2019, but its spacecraft was destroyed on impact.

With nuclear-armed India emerging as the world’s fifth-largest economy, Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist government is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology.

India is using research from space and elsewhere to solve problems at home. Its space programme has already helped develop satellite, communication and remote-sensing technologies and has been used to gauge underground water levels and predict weather.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button