By Niha Masih
When a rocket blasts off from an island in the Bay of Bengal in the coming days, it will carry not only a moon rover but a nation’s growing ambitions in space.
On Monday, India will embark on its most complex space odyssey to date with the launch of its second lunar mission.
Chandrayaan-2, whose launch is set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, will attempt to soft-land onto the moon’s uncharted south pole region in the first week of September. The region is crucial, scientists say, as there is a possibility of the presence of water and craters that contain fossil records of the early solar system.
Chaitanya Giri, a fellow at the space and ocean studies program at Gateway House, a think tank in Mumbai, said it would be the first landing of any spacecraft on the lunar south pole.
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