BENGALURU: As India’s ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to touchdown on the moon’s surface at 1.55 am on Saturday, the ISRO chief says it will be like “15 minutes of terror” for the whole space agency.
India will be the fourth country to carry out a soft landing on the moon’s surface after Russia, China and the USA, so the tricky manoeuvre of 35km has to be done without injury.
“The situation will be the same as somebody is suddenly comes to you and gives you a new born baby. You should be able to hold the baby without any support and baby will go this way or that way but you should hold the baby properly. For soft landing, the lander should be treated like a baby, it will also go on its own way but you have to bring down carefully, without causing injury,” said ISRO chief K Sivan to media.
The moon lander Vikram which separated from its carrying ship has already done two manoeuvres to lower its altitude for a perfect soft-land between 1.30 am and 2.30 am on Saturday.
“Even for the scientists who have experience in this process, it will be the toughest task. Every time it is a complex process and then think about the people who are doing this for the first time. It will be a very difficult job for the ISRO officials to done this task successfully,” Space Agency chief added.
“A fifteen-minute of terror for even senior scientists,” he added.
Every landing on the moon is difficult as its atmosphere is very soft and thin and even parachutes can’t be used to slow down.
To watch the historic landing Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reach the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru around midnight. Along with him, about 60 high school students who passed an online space quiz last month will also watch the moment.