Science India to the Moon
posted by October 21 at 12:14 PMon
Following in the footsteps of regional rivals China and Japan, India will launch its first unmanned moon mission Wednesday morning.
The unmanned rocket Chandrayaan-1 is scheduled to lift off at 6:20 a.m. local time Wednesday (8:50 p.m. ET Tuesday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the island of Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal.
The rocket, which cost 3.86 billion rupees ($94.4 million) and has a take-off weight of more than 1.3 tonnes, is scheduled to orbit the moon on a two-year mission.
The rocket will carry 11 scientific payloads: five from India, two from the U.S. and one each from Britain, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria. India’s space agency said the probe will map a three-dimensional atlas of the moon and study the chemical and mineral composition of its surface.
This is the second space race.
India will become the third Asian country to send an unmanned mission into lunar orbit, as Japan and China both successfully launched lunar probes in 2007. The United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union have also previously sent probes that have orbited or landed on the moon.
The third space race? Africa, the Middle East, and South America? South Africa, Iran, and Brazil?