India’s space agency releases first Earth pics taken by lunar mission (PHOTOS)
The 44-meter-long rocket isn’t scheduled to land on the lunar surface until September 7, however the agency posted a set of five stunning images of Earth, taken from a distance of about 5,000km, by the LI4 camera aboard the lander after it launched on July 22.
“The images are crystal clear and (the) spacecraft is perfectly normal. I am extremely happy with the mission so far,” said ISRO chairman K Sivan to NDTV. The images also suggest the lander will perform as expected during the “15-terrifying moments when it goes in for the lunar landing,” added Sivan.
The second attempt to launch the Chandrayaan-2 into orbit came a week after the first try saw the countdown being stopped less than an hour before the mission’s departure. At the time, a “technical snag was observed in [the] launch vehicle system,” according to the ISRO.
After it touches down on the Moon’s surface, a small solar-powered rover, Pragyan, will be deployed. During its 14-day lifetime, Pragyan is expected to travel half a kilometer from the lander and snap images and collect data on the lunar surface to send back to Earth.
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