India all set to touch the moon, MIP to crash-land
India on Friday looked all set to becoming the fourth nation to have its flag flying on the Moon's surface when moon mission Chandrayaan-1 detached the Moon Impact Probe device, which has the Indian Tricolour painted on it, for a touchdown.
The 35-kilo payload will crash land on to the lunar surface at around 2030 hrs IST. The MIP will then start sending still and digital video pictures of the moon to ISRO scientists.
It also contains equipment which will help scientists design a lunar lander or rover for the upcoming Chandrayaan-2 mission.
There's a lot tucked away inside the MIP. There's a device to constantly check it's height as it falls, another to check what the air on the moon is made of and even a video camera to photograph the moon from close range.
Those photographs will help ISRO decide where to land India's first moon rover, a few years from now. The MIP also has the Indian flag painted on its sides a Sanskrit shloka as well.
The MIP will disconnect from Chandrayaan from 100 km above the moon. As it falls, it will send information back to the satellite. Closer to the surface, rockets will be fired to slow down its speed and soften impact. After half an hour of free fall, the MIP will crashland on the south pole of moon.
Former president APJ Abdul Kalam whose brainchild the Moon Impact Probe is says it's his dream to see an Indian astronaut walk the moon.
“The youth of India should consider that encouragement of the youth is the most powerful resource on the earth, above and underneath, India will do it,” he said.