India unveils Moon lander, set to become 4th nation to touch down on Earth’s satellite (PHOTO)
India has announced that it is ready to launch its Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft to the Moon in just one month, and become the fourth nation after the US, USSR, and China to carry out a lunar mission.
The Chandrayaan 2, a domestically-built spacecraft which will have an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, is set to lift off between July 9 and 16, Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has said. India’s second lunar mission is expected to reach and touch down on the Moon in September.
It will study the lunar surface and accumulate available data on water and minerals, and will send data and images back to mission control in India.
Earlier on Wednesday, the ISRO released photos showing the spacecraft being assembled and adjusted at one of the organization’s facilities.
This comes 10 years after India’s first lunar mission, the Chandrayaan 1, in 2009. The mission featured a lunar orbiter and an impactor but did not perform a landing on the Moon.
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India has recently unveiled a host of space exploration projects, effectively stepping into the global space race. It is set to launch the Gaganyaan spacecraft, designed to carry three people, by 2022. New Delhi has asked Moscow for help with its manned space flight mission.
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The only Indian to travel to space did so aboard a Soviet Soyuz rocket to the Salyut orbital station in 1984. India, which has launched many unmanned missions, has never independently sent a man into space.
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