India's second lunar mission comes at a time when the world is celebrating 50 years of the moon landing, when on July 20, 1969, US' Apollo 11 made the first successful crewed landing on the moon and the whole world saw astronaut Neil Armstrong stepping on the lunar surface for the first time, followed by Buzz Aldrin.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is all set to launch today its second moon mission named Chandrayaan-2, which is expected to make a soft landing on the South Pole of the moon. The second moon mission will follow the discovery of water ice on the moon by its predecessor Chandrayaan-1, launched on October 21, 2008.
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The mission will be carried out with a GSLV Mk-III spacecraft equipped with an Orbiter, Pragyan Rover, and Vikram Lander which will be conducting experiments on the lunar terrain with homegrown technology.
India's second lunar mission comes at a time when the world is celebrating 50 years of the first moon landing. On July 20, 1969, US' Apollo 11 made the first successful crewed landing on the moon and the whole world saw astronaut Neil Armstrong stepping on the lunar surface for the first time, followed by Buzz Aldrin.
"We thought our onboard computers were sophisticated, but in fact, it had less computing power that what we all carry around in our pockets today,” said Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins in a five-minute video featured as a Google doodle on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Successful manned moon landings.
However, it was the former Soviet Union which carried out the first successful lunar mission on September 14, 1959, when Luna 2 spacecraft successfully landed on the moon.
The Cold War-era saw a significant number of moon missions carried out by both the United States and the USSR - a total of 44 successful missions in the period between 1959 to 1978.
The important lunar missions that contributed to our knowledge of the moon.
Call it a coincidence, but after fifty years of a successful manned moon mission, India was all set to launch its second moon mission on July 15, a day before Apollo 11 launch in 1969. But the launch was called off at the last minute following a technical snag in the spacecraft, postponing the launch date to July 22, two days after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.
India's space mission could not have come at a better time.
India now ranks among the countries like Russia, US, China, Japan, the European Union, who have launched their own moon missions with success and failure in almost equal proportions.
A new member in the space club, India has managed to launch several satellites, one moon mission and a mission to Mars, called Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or 'Mangalyaan.'
Nevertheless, fifty years ago man created history when he first stepped on the moon. The neighbourhood celestial object and earth's natural satellite is closest for scientists on earth to perform experiments to determine the vast mysteries of our universe.
As Neil Armstrong said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," India's second moon mission is a testimony to those words in all its entirety.
First Published: Jul 22, 2019 1:53 PM IST
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