India is about to make a bold attempt to land on the moon with its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft — and you can watch it live.
It’s been one hell of space race between India and Russia of late, both countries aiming to land crewless probes on the moon’s South Pole — by no means an easy feat. On Sunday, Russia lost contact with its Luna-25 spacecraft, which then crashed into the moon’s surface, ending Russia’s first lunar mission in 50 years. Now, it’s India’s turn to try.
Ahead of today's landing attempt, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has released some incredible photos of moonscapes, taken by the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft in lunar orbit.
Want to watch it live?
India’s landing attempt will be streaming live from the ISRO’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page from 7:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 23, with touchdown expected at 8:34 a.m. ET if everything goes to plan.
And just how hard is it to land on the moon? As Mashable’s Elisha Sauers reports, "Though 60 years have passed since the first uncrewed moon landings, touching down safely remains a daunting task, with less than half of all missions succeeding. Unlike around Earth, the moon's atmosphere is very thin, providing virtually no drag to slow a spacecraft down as it approaches the ground.
"Furthermore, there are no GPS systems on the moon to help guide a craft to its landing spot. Engineers have to compensate for these shortcomings from 239,000 miles away."
You can learn more about the importance of the launch through Mashable’s expert science team. Check out their reporting below: