NEW DELHI :
After two successive de-orbiting maneuvers, Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is now all set to land on the moon anytime in between 1:30 am and 2:30 am on September 7.
Although Russia, USA and China have achieved a soft landing on the moon previously, India wants to become the first one to explore the south pole of the Moon.
With the second maneuver today, the required orbit for the Vikram Lander to commence it descent towards the lunar surface is achieved, ISRO said. The Lander is scheduled to make a powered descent between 1am and 2 am on 7 September, followed by touch down of the Lander in between 1:30 am and 2:30 am.
If all goes as planned, the spacecraft would be on the lunar soil at precisely 1:55 am on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday this week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to be present at ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru to watch the historic landing of Chandrayaan-2. Sixty students have also been selected from all over the country to watch the event live with PM Modi.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan has said the proposed soft-landing on the Moon is going to be a "terrifying" moment as it is something the space agency has not done before while the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre was successfully carried out during the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission.
Following the landing, the rover 'Pragyan' will roll out from the lander between 5.30 and 6.30 am on Saturday, and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for 14 days, which is equivalent to one lunar day.
The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year.
According to the ISRO, the objective of India's lunar mission is to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.
On the science front, this mission aims to further expand knowledge about the moon through a detailed study of its topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics and atmosphere, leading to a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon, the space agency had said.