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India prepares to land on the moon in the global space race

Scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) work on the orbital vehicle of Chandrayaan-2, India's first lunar and rover mission planned and developed by ISRO, in Bangalore on June 12, 2019. – The Chandrayaan-2 landing vehicle is named Vikram (value), after the pioneer of the Indian space program Vikram Sarabhai, and the robot robot that explores the lunar surface called & # 39; Pragyan & # 39 ;, (wisdom) will be launched on the Moon by a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) Mark III within the following months. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN / AFP / Getty Images)

MANJUNATH KIRAN | AFP | false images

India is trying to make a giant leap in its space program and consolidate its place among the nations of the world that travel through space with its second unmanned mission to the Moon, destined to land a rover near the unexplored south pole.

The Indian Space Research Organization plans to launch a spacecraft with its own technology on Monday, and is scheduled to land on the moon on September 6 or 7. The $ 141 million Chandrayaan-2 mission will analyze minerals, map the surface of the moon and search for water.

"It will boldly go where no country has gone before," ISRO said in a statement.

With India poised to become the fifth largest economy in the world, the fiery nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is willing to show the country's skills in security and technology.

India successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon in March, which Modi said showed the country's capacity as a space power along with the United States, Russia and China. India also plans to send humans into space by 2022, becoming the fourth nation to do so.

The ambitions of the country are developing in the middle of a resurged space race.

The United States, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first humans on the moon, is working to send a manned spacecraft to the lunar south pole by the year 2024. In April, a unmanned airplane. The Israeli ship crashed into the moon in a failed attempt at the first private-funded moon landing.

Decades of space research have enabled India to develop satellite, communications and remote sensing technologies that help solve everyday problems in the home, from predicting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

India's first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, whose name is Sanskrit for "moon ship", orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. In 2013-14, India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation's first interplanetary mission.

Some have questioned spending in a country of 1.3 billion people with widespread poverty and one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. But the author and economic commentator Gurcharan Das said that the cost of the second catastrophe is small compared to the general budget of India and that the project could have a multiplier effect on the economy.

He called on India to engage the country's private sector more in research and development, which he said could generate "enormous benefits" beyond the scope of space travel.

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