BENGALURU: A moonwalk on uncharted territory at less than a quarter of the price of Air Force One!
On Monday, Indian space scientists will take the first step towards reaching the Moon for the second time, but on a frugal budget of $ 141 million (Rs 978 crores), as compared with $660 million of Air Force One jet aircraft.
In fact, the second lunar probe, Chandrayaan-2, costs less than the $165million production budget Hollywood Sci-fi flick ‘Interstellar.’
Ahead of this crucial 50-day cruise, space scientists carried out all tests of systems on board the gigantic rocket, GSLV-MkIII, Chandrayaan-2, andscores of links in the communication network, on Saturday, according to
sources in Isro.
Sources said the countdown for the blast off of GSLV MkIIIfrom Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota Range, will commence early morning, Sunday.
The rocket will propel the lunar probe on a cruise lasting about 50 days.
On reaching the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 will circle the Moon at an altitude of100 Km, and release the lander ‘Vikram’ and rover ‘Pragyan’ for a softtouchdown on lunar soil.
Once safely down, ‘Vikram’ will release the six-wheeled rover, ‘Pragyan,’ toscout for water, minerals, chemicals, the cause for quakes on the Moon, and critical evidence on the birth and expansion of the solar system.
The chosen landing site, near the lunar South Pole, has not been explored by any space-faring nation.
Dr V Adimurthy, chairman of Isro SRO study team on Solar System exploration, told Deccan Chronicle the experience gained during the lunar mission would be used during the launch of second probe to Mars and the first one to Venusin future....