It was the first interplanetary mission for ISRO, and heralded the way for other missions to follow, including one to Mars, and the upcoming Chandrayaan-2 mission.
How will the launch work?
The Indian Space Research Organization plans to launch a spacecraft using homegrown technology on Monday at 2:51 am, and it is scheduled to touch down on the moon September 6 or 7. On entering the moon's sphere of influence, on-board thrusters will slow down the spacecraft, allowing it to be captured by the moon. In a brief interaction, Sivan, also the Secretary, Department of Space, said the lander would make a soft landing in the lunar South Pole, an uncharted territory so far, on September 6.
In May, ISRO said it would be launching Chandrayaan-2 between July 9-16. The lunar lander, known as "Vikram", and a rover, known as "Pragyan", will set up shop in the south, far further than any previous mission to the moon. This technology, too, has been tested during Chandrayaan 1. India is looking to take a giant leap by sending second unmanned mission to the moon. However, Chandrayaan 1 was just an orbiter while Chandrayaan-2 has lander and rover components adding complexity to the mission.
As of June, the mission had been allocated Rs 978 crore (approximately $142 million).
Scientific experiments will continue on the lunar surface for 14 Earth day (1 lunar day).
There also is a likelihood of water being present in the areas that permanently in shadow around the lunar South Pole. That is why the same side always faces the earth.
The one thing that seemed to be on every Netizen's mind was the Tricolour. Moon days are almost 14 earth days long. At this point, it will perform check of all on board systems before attempting to land. The rover will be inside the lander. Once night falls, this energy will not be available as they are plunged into a dark and cold -180º Celsius environment.
"The Earth and the Moon have a lot more in common than most of us realise".
The images sent by the rover can also be used for scientific study. The region is crucial, scientists say, as there is a possibility of the presence of water and craters that contain fossil records of the early solar system. The moon's surface is covered with craters, rocks and dust. A series of orbit raising maneuvers will progressively raise the apogee of the spacecraft until it can be captured by the Moon's gravity with an engine burn. In addition there is a NASA payload which will be passive instrument. Moreover, the ambient pressure of lunar surface is a hard vacuum. It also smashed an instrument called the Moon Impact Probe into the surface, turning up traces of water. Once safely down, the Vikram lander will release a small, six-wheeled rover named Pragyan.
What is the success rate of "soft-landing" on the moon?That orbiter reached the moon on November 8, 2008 and then fired an impacter which struck the south pole.
Why should we have this mission? From here, future human missions to explore far-off planetary bodies can be launched.