Indian scientists on Friday hailed the country's ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 ahead of its soft landing on the surface of the moon on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday between 1:30 am to 2:30 am.
"After we successfully land on the lunar surface, we will become the shining beacon in the world of space. This will prove to the world that India is on its way to becoming one of the biggest space powers in the world," scientist PC Ghosh told ANI.
He said that it will be a momentous occasion when the Vikram lander touches down on the moon.
Talking about the mission, former ISRO scientist Surendra Paul also said that the last 15 minutes of the landing will be the most significant.
"The soft-landing will be very important because it is a very complex mechanism and involves various technologies. This will be a milestone for the country and the world," Paul said.
Echoing similar sentiments, space scientist RC Kapoor also said that the people of the country have been waiting for this occasion for a very long time.
"The mission Chandrayaan-2 has been proposed even before the Chandrayaan-1 was launched. We have been waiting for this day from a very long time. We hope that the landing is smooth and hazard-free," Kapoor said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to witness the event live from the space agency's control room in Sriharikota, along with over 60 school-going children. These students were selected on the basis of an online space quiz last month.
The Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft will be the first Indian expedition to carry out a soft landing on the lunar surface. This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to conduct a soft landing on the moon.
The mission took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22. India's second mission to the moon was approved by the cabinet in September 2008, just before the launch of Chandrayaan 1.