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NASA, whole world will be watching Chandrayaan-2’s landing on Moon, says former astronaut

Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to land on the surface of the moon on September 7.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 3, 2019 8:06:49 am
NASA, whole world will watch Chandrayaan-2's landing on moon, says former astronaut Chandrayaan-2 is India’s first expedition to attempt a soft landing on the moon. (File)

Former NASA astronaut Donald A Thomas Sunday said when India’s second mission to the Moon Chandrayaan-2 would land on the lunar surface, everyone at the US space agency and people around the world would be watching it. Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to land on the surface of the moon on September 7.

“Chandrayaan-2 will be the first spacecraft to land near the moon’s South Pole and this is where NASA hopes to land an astronaut in about five years from now. Not just NASA, but the whole world would be interested in knowing about the moon and the universe by following Chandrayaan-2,” ANI quoted Thomas as saying.

The former astronaut was talking to reporters after an event at the Park College of Engineering and Technology in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The Lander and Rover components of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will make a soft landing in the South polar region of the Moon, unexplored by science so far.

Thomas said the South Pole of the Moon was a special location and there might be ice in some of the craters that are permanently shadowed. “We have landed near the equator of the moon before but never at the South Pole. The South Pole is a very special location, we think there is ice in some of the craters that are permanently shadowed. If we find ice there then we can have water and from that oxygen and hydrogen,” ANI quoted Thomas as saying.

Thomas further said the Moon is a tough place to live as there is a lot of radiation out there. The temperature during the day time can reach 100 degrees Celcius and night temperatures can go up to minus 100 degrees Celcius.

Chandrayaan-2, which is India’s first expedition to attempt a soft landing on the moon, will make India the only fourth country after the US, Russia and China to carry out such a landing on the lunar surface.

Chandrayaan-2 successfully completed its fifth and final lunar-bound orbit maneuver on Sunday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced. In a tweet, the space agency wrote, “The final and fifth Lunar bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (September 01, 2019) at 1821 hrs IST.”

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