India is preparing to launch its first lunar lander on Sunday. As part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, the lander will climb to the top of the most powerful rocket in the country, the geosynchronous satellite launcher Mark III.
The plan is to launch an orbiter module and a 56-pound mobile mobile from a 1.4-ton landing craft called Vikram.
India successfully completed its first lunar probe mission, Chandrayaan-1, in October 2008. The probe made a controlled impact near the South Pole, ejecting underground soil for later analysis to search for traces of 39; water.
Basin of destination
The planned landing site for Chandryaan 2 is only 220 km from the edge of the South Pole Aitken Basin – the same massive crater located on the other side of the Moon under which scientists have recently discovered the evidence of a "large excess of mass".
The rover carries an X-ray spectrometer that could analyze the composition of the Aitken Basin crust to find clues about its original history.
The planned mission begins seven months after China sent its Chang'e-4 lunar lander to the back of the moon – the first time a man-made object landed on the far less studied side who remains facing the Earth.
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