Added on : 2019-09-06 18:00:59
It's a long day of anticipation for K Sivan as the ISRO chief waits — like many others — with bated breath for Chandrayaan-2, India's ambitious lunar mission, to land on the moon in the early hours of Saturday.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Sivan said: "Yes I have butterflies in my stomach. I'm sitting at 'conversion desk' looking at preparations. We will wait for the great moment. PM Narendra Modi will be watching and it will be a big morale boost."
Chandrayaan-2's landing module 'Vikram' will begin its final descent to pull off a historic soft landing on the lunar surface in the early hours of Saturday, as the Indian Space Research Organisation waits for the "terrifying moment".
A successful landing will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve a soft landing on the moon. But it will be the first to launch a mission to the unexplored lunar south pole.
Joined by about 60-70 high school students from across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present at the ISRO centre in Bengaluru to witness live the space feat, according to officials.
'Vikram' with rover 'Pragyaan' housed inside is scheduled for a powered-descent between 1 am and 2 am on September 7, followed by its touchdown between 1.30 am and 2.30 am. The lander is now in an orbit that would be about 35 km from the lunar surface at its nearest point from where it will begin its final descent.