Butterflies And Nerves: India Awaits Chandrayaan 2 Landing With Bated Breath; Touchdown Around 1.52 AM

Butterflies And Nerves: India Awaits Chandrayaan 2 Landing With Bated Breath; Touchdown Around 1.52 AMThe orbiter and lander module of Chandrayaan-2, mechanically interfaced, approaching the Moon.  

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is less than an hour away from creating history as Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram lander is expected to touchdown on the lunar surface just before 2 AM on Saturday (7 September).

ISRO has officially pegged the touchdown in the vicinity of the lunar South Pole at 1.52.54 AM and its live broadcast will start from 1.15 AM.

ISRO scientists along with around 200 journalists and various science enthusiasts are present in its Bengaluru monitoring centre tracking every detail of the Vikram lander.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also reached the monitoring centre to be part of the historic moment. He is accompanied by 60 science students from across the country who were selected based on a science quiz.

The Chandrayaan 2 landing has become a global phenomenon with astrophysicists like Neil deGrasse Tyson and billionaire Jeff Bezos rooting for a successful landing.

Prasar Bharti Director General Supriya Sahu shared live footage from ISRO’s mission headquarters where the scientists can be seen glued to their system monitors as they prepare for the final landing.

Sometime after 1.15 am on 7 September, the lander will start the nearly 15-minute-long process of landing on the lunar surface. It will chiefly go through six phases before touching down.

This process is completely autonomous and is the most critical phase of the Chandrayaan 2 mission, with the scientists exercising litter to no control during this process - thus aptly dubbed as the “15 minutes of terror”.