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2019-09-07

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The GSLV Mark III carrying Chandrayaan-2 to its designated orbit at Sriharikota on July 22, 2019.   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

The Indian interest in exploring earth's nearest celestial body took a formal shape in April 2003 when over 100 planetary and multi-discipline scientists endorsed a moon mission starting with an orbiter. The space powers were not looking at moon at that time - a far cry from the current trend

Chandrayaan 1 was launched in October 2008 even as the foundation for a sequel was conjured up in late 2007.

November 2007: ISRO & Russian space agency Roscosmos sign up for a joint landing mission to moon. ISRO to provide the orbiter and rover; Roscosmos to provide the lander.

Chandrayaan-2 lander homing in on moon

September 2008: The then Manmohan Singh government approves Chandrayaan-2

2009: spacecraft design is ready and reviewed by the two sides

2013-16 Project set back after another Russian joint mission Phobos Grunt fails; Russia backs out as a few elements of this mission were common to Chandrayaan-2 also

2015 India decides to go it alone; with issues of GSLV MkII launcher yet to be ironed out, mission is expected in 2016 but gets delayed.

March 2018: the new date for launch of Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan 2 | Moon lander Vikram all set to land on September 7

June 2018: after the fourth technical review of the project ISRO decides to reconfigure the lander and the landing sequence; changes the vehicle to GSLV MkIII;

February 2019: launch gets delayed by 5 months as the lander's legs get damaged during trials

July 15, 2019: Launch stopped just an hour before take-off due to a technical problem in the launcher

July 22, 2019: Chandrayaan-2 is launched from Sriharikota

August 20, 2019 : Spacecraft arrives near moon after 30 days in earth orbit and a week's journey from earth

September 7, 2019: The mission is poised for soft-landing on moon around 1.50 a.m.

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