The day has come for India to try for a historic Moon landing

  • On Friday, India’s Vikram lander will attempt to make a soft
    landing on the Moon’s surface. This gallery highlights how that
    will happen. [credit: ISRO ]

In late July, an Indian rocket
launched
the Chandrayaan-2 mission from a spaceport in the Bay
of Bengal. This is the second spacecraft India has sent to the Moon
and the first to attempt a soft landing. Since launching, the
Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has spent the last six weeks spiraling
toward lunar orbit, reaching it, and releasing a lander that will
attempt to reach the surface.

India seeks to make history with its Vikram lander—until now,
only the US, Russian, and Chinese space agencies have ever
successfully landed on the Moon. Friday is the day for this landing
attempt, which should begin around, or shortly after 3:30pm ET
(19:30 UTC).

However, as an Israel-backed private company
found out in April
, softly landing a spacecraft on the lunar
surface can be very difficult. The Beresheet vehicle’s main engine
failed about 10km above the Moon, and thereafter struck the Moon at
a velocity of around 130 meters per second.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
The day has come for India to try for a historic Moon landing