Later today India hopes to make a historic achievement: becoming only the fourth country in history to make a soft landing on the surface of the moon. At roughly 3:30 p.m. ET today the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft’s lander, the Vikram, is scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface.
The Chandrayaan-2 began its journey six weeks ago when it left Earth on July 22. If it is successful in its landing, it will have the distinction of being the first spacecraft to land within the moon’s south polar region. Once the landing has been achieved, the Vikram will release its rover, the Pragyaan, about four hours later. It will be the rover’s job to begin mapping the moon’s south polar region as well as to collect chemical and mineral samples for remote scientific analysis.
To check out the landing live, tune in to the ISRO’s official live stream on YouTube (below), which will begin broadcasting shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET (1 a.m. IST time):