India set to launch Moon rover and orbiter

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In just four days times, India is set to launch its Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the east coast of the country.

On the other hand, the rover Pragyaan will steal the show as it will explore the lunar surface up to 500 metres.

"The LRA is a mirrored device that reflects laser signals to help mission team members pinpoint where a lander is as well as precisely calculate the moon's distance from Earth", explains Space.com, noting that the payload is of the same design as a device launched aboard Israel's doomed Beresheet moon lander earlier this year.

Provided Chandrayaan-2 launches on time, it is expected to reach the moon on September 6, 2019.

After the said interval, the lander Vikram and orbiter will get separated and the Vikram will land on the moon's surface from a height of 100 km from orbit.

Chandrayaan-II consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover together referred to as "composite body". In 2013-14, India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation's first interplanetary mission.

ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission will take off from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on the intervening night of July 14 and 15 around 2.51 am. "The launch is scheduled at 2:51 am on July 15", the ISRO said on Thursday. But national pride is at stake: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to send a manned mission into orbit by 2022. The nationalist leader swept to reelection in May after a campaign focused on security and patriotic rhetoric.

The country's ambitions are playing out amid a resurgent space race.

The lunar mission isn't the only one on the horizon.

The mission will also highlight how far space travel has advanced since Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind during the Apollo 11 mission.

India will become only the fourth country, after the US, Russia and China, to reach Earth's satellite if successful.

Coming at the heels of one of the worst cross-border conflicts with archrival Pakistan in recent times, security analysts saw the missile test as a significant policy shift for New Delhi, which has sought to portray itself as a responsible worldwide actor. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) aims for a well-co-ordinated fluid smooth landing in the midst of two craters named Simpelius N and Manzinus C, which stands at the south to the equator at approximately 70 degrees. At $141 million, the cost of the current lunar mission is far less than the Apollo mission's $25 billion spend.

April 19, 1975 - India's first satellite, Aryabhata, is launched from the former Soviet Union. The scientists conclude with the assumption that its southern region can be a future refuge for humans.

Experts say India's focus on its space program reflects the aspirations of its young population.

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