- Chandrayaan 2 anticipated to make a soft-landing on moon at 1:55 am
- “It’ll be 15 minutes of terror for us”: ISRO Chairman K Sivan
- Landing will be difficult on moon as atmosphere is very thin
Chandrayn 2 had started it’s journey towards moon almost a month and a half abck with the Vikram (lander) and Pragyan (rover), and now it’s really very close to finally reaching its destination.
While ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 has had smooth-sailing and rather uneventful journey so far, with everything going as per plan with no glitches, things are going to get more challenging as the Vikram Lander gets ready to descend onto the moon’s surface.
Chandrayaan 2, India’s ambitious moony mission, is anticipated to make a soft-landing on the surface of the moon at 1:55 am on Saturday. ISRO Chairman K Sivan has described the last moments of Chandrayan 2’s journey as “the most terrifying 15 minutes” which is just 35 km in vertical distance from the orbit.
“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.
“This is a very complex process and it is new for us. It is a complex process even for those who have already done it. We are doing this for the first time, so it will be fifteen minutes of terror for us,” Dr Sivan said.
Landing is also difficult on the moon since the atmosphere is very thin and parachutes cannot be used to slow down.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru around midnight to watch the event. Over 60 high school students across the country who cleared an online space quiz last month will watch the soft landing of the mission with the Prime Minister.
“We do realise that space technology and space activity are always replete with a lots 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.
It’s definitely going to be an exciting moment, when the Vikram Lander finally touches down on a wholly unexplored part of the moon. If you’re looking forward to track the Chandrayaan 2 plunge onto the lunar surface, it’s expected to start around 1:30 am late tonight or early Saturday morning.