India's historic moon mission launches toward lunar south pole
The Chandrayaan-2 mission is aiming to be the first to land softly in the moon's south polar region.
Today, a shimmering golden spacecraft roared skyward on a pillar of flame at 5:13 a.m. ET. Known as Chandrayaan-2, the Indian spacecraft is now on its way to the moon’s south polar region, and if all goes well, its lander will touch down there in early September.
With this mission, India is aiming to become the first country ever to achieve a soft, controlled landing so close to the moon’s south pole, and just the fourth country ever to land softly on the lunar surface, joining Russia, the United States, and China.
Its scientific instruments will shed light on the moon’s mysterious interior and thin exosphere, and they will provide key details about the chemistry of the moon’s south polar region,