October 21, 2019
Latest News
Science & Technology

India’s second lunar mission takes off with ‘billion dreams to the Moon’

By Sarwar Kashani and Shubhomoy Chatterjee,

New Delhi, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- India on Monday successfully launched a spacecraft to land on the hitherto unchartered south pole of the Moon after an aborted attempt last week following a last minute technical glitch.

The unmanned Chandrayaan-2, meaning Moon vehicle in Sanskrit, lifted off at 2:43 p.m. local time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said about the mission, which it noted was taking “a billion dreams to the Moon.”

The live-streaming of the launch showed the rocket, carrying the spacecraft, blasting off from the space center in southern India. Minutes later, the boosters got detached as the craft began its 384,000km (239,000-mile) 48-day journey to the Moon.

The spacecraft, the ISRO said, was successfully injected into the Earth’s orbit.

The landing, if successful, of the spacecraft in September will make India, the country of 1.3 billion people, the fourth nation joining an elite club after the former Soviet Union, the United States and China who have made a soft touchdown on the Moon.

According to India’s space experts, the $150 fully-indigenous million is to collect samples from the unknown territory of the Earth’s closest neighbor in search of water, minerals and helium-3 isotope – widely speculated future energy source.

The radioactive isotope is said to be available in abundance on the upper layer of the solid covering of the Moon, collected for billions of years by solar wind along the lunar regolith.

Among other things, the mission is also to measure moonquakes and deeper insights into the evolution of the satellite.

The success of the mission is significant for India that has been asserting itself as a global space power to be reckoned with and is planning to launch a manned space mission by 2022.

Besides, national pride also runs high. Hindu right-wing Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, boasts of such technological advancements as a marker of India’s global-power status.

“The launch of Chandrayaan-2 illustrates the prowess of our scientists and the determination of 130 crore (1.3 billion) Indians to scale new frontiers of science. Every Indian is immensely proud today,” Modi tweeted to his 48.7 million twitter followers.

“This mission will offer new knowledge about the Moon.”

Modi, in March this year, in the middle of the general elections that he won with a landslide majority, announced the successful test of the country’s first space weapon – a missile that can shoot down enemy satellites in space.

ISRO chief K. Sivan in his address to some 1,000 engineers and scientists who worked on this mission said: “Today is a historical day for space and science and technology in India” that marked “the beginning of a historical journey of India towards the Moon and land in a place near south pole."

ISRO’s former chairman G. Madhavan Nair, one of the most popular names in India’s rocket technology, told EFE, that the successful launch of the mission heralds a new chapter in India’s ambitious space program.

“It gives us a great sense of pride to see our space program making progress in leaps and bounds,” he said.

Nair, who led the space agency for six years from September 2003, said the complex mission of landing on the Moon will “surely assert India’s as one of the space powers in the world” and prove to be vital in the country’s “future bigger space missions”.

This is India’s second lunar mission after Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 that did not land on the Moon but used radars to carry out a detailed search for water on the satellite.

In the second mission, the space agency used its powerful rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) that weighs 640 tonnes and is as high as a 14-storey building.

The spacecraft weighs 3.8 tonnes and has three distinct parts: an orbiter, a lander and a rover.

The lander is expected to make a controlled landing on Sep 7 and deploy a rover at the Moon’s south pole, according to the ISRO. The rover will analyze the lunar soil and will send data and images back to Earth. EFE-EPA


News history
New study reveals giant size of extinct marsupials that once roamed Australia

Washington, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Paleontologists have found that a species belonging to an extinct genus of marsupial that roamed Australia some 25 million...

Disney CEO leaves Apple's board of directors ahead of streaming services war

San Francisco, USA, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- The chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company has resigned from Apple's board of directors – of which he had been a...

Bacteria in cash, pizza as medicine and other crazy experiments win Ig Nobels

Washington DC, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The number of deadly bacteria lurking in cash or the medicinal properties of pizza are some of the unusual experiments...

Russian scientists patent system to collect space debris

Moscow, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Student Russian scientists have patented a system of devices to remove space garbage from the Earth's orbit.

Remakes of iconic games steal limelight at Tokyo Game Show

By María Roldán

Bringing children in Peru up to speed with the internet

By Álvaro Mellizo

Water vapor detected in potentially habitable exoplanet's atmosphere

London, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Scientists for the first time have detected water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet of a size comparable to Earth, making...

Pioneering technology uses plants and microorganisms to produce electricity

By Mercedes Palomino

Science Museum explores how London became global hub for innovation

By Laura Sanfélix

Two viable embryos developed from northern white rhinos

Nairobi, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Scientists working to save the northern white rhinos from extinction announced Wednesday that two eggs fertilized 10 days ago...

Indian space agency loses contact with lunar lander

New Delhi, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- India's space agency said Saturday that ground controllers lost contact with the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft's Vikram lander...

Countdown begins for India's moon mission to touch down at lunar South Pole

New Delhi, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- The countdown began on Friday for Chandrayaan-2 to land a rover on the Moon, India’s most ambitious space program to look for...

Yamnaya steppe tribe that invaded Iberia advanced as far as India

By Elena Camacho

Baby hippopotamus is latest resident at Nicaragua zoo

Managua, Sep 5 (efe-epa).- A baby hippopotamus, the only member of the species in Nicaragua and which was rescued from a circus, starting Thursday is the...

Austrian technology art festival looks at AI's future impact on humanity

By Luis Lidon

Mexican region gets first desalination plant for ag use in the Americas

By Juan Carlos Machorro

Iran denies burning of its satellite Nahid-1

Tehran, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- Iran has denied the failure of the launch of a communication satellite on Saturday as alleged by the United States.

Soyuz MS-15’s crew undergoes tests ahead of flight to ISS

Moscow, Aug 30 (efe-epa).- The crew members of the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft on Friday concluded the second day of tests before heading to International Space...

SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth with NASA materials

Washington, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The SpaceX CRS-108 Dragon space capsule returned safely to Earth on Tuesday loaded with assorted NASA materials, plunging...

Square marks boundary between haves, have-nots in Chile's capital

By Alberto Valdes Gomez

Russia's Soyuz capsule with Fedor robot on board docks at ISS on 2nd attempt

Moscow, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, with the Russian Fedor robot as its only crew member, docked Tuesday at the International Space...

Dinosaur paleontology under threat in Argentina

By Pablo Ramón Ochoa

Soyuz carrying robot to attempt dock on ISS after failed attempt

Moscow, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- The Russian Soyuz MS-14 ship carrying android FEDOR as its sole crew member will try to dock on the International Space Station...

The tech hub that flourished against all odds in Gaza

By Laura Fernández Palomo

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.