Bon voyage, Lander Vikram…!
July 20, 1969, brought in a major revolution. That was the day when Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin stepped on the surface of the...
July 20, 1969, brought in a major revolution. That was the day when Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin stepped on the surface of the moon which till then was a subject matter of love for the poets and lyricists and God for the common man particularly in India.
The face of woman was compared with that of moon. Famous poet and lyricist Gulzar even commented that he had copyright on moon as majority of songs based on beauty of moon. This unbelievable achievement by Apollo 11 mission had opened new windows to space scientists.
Fifty years later, another revolution is taking place and that is India sending its first vehicle 'Lander Vikram' to the moon and that too from southern side of the polar which is being attempted for the first time.
Not just Indians, many across the globe would once again come together and get glued to TV sets to see this historic event. Fifty years later, India too would be celebrating its golden jubilee of this great event Chandrayaan 2.
It will take about seven weeks or so for Vikram to land on the moon. By launching this mission, India would be showcasing its expertise and ability in reaching the moon and would convey to the world its priorities.
This will make India the fourth nation after the US, Russia and China to go to the moon. This mission will help the world understand the development of the entire solar system.
The moon is 3.5 billion years old, and its craters were formed and have remained unchanged over time because it has no environment and no other internal movement that erase its features.
Since the Chandrayaan is being launched at a time when the world is celebrating the golden jubilee of Apollo 11, it is time to go down the memory lane. That was the time when certain parts of the world were facing famine and there were incidents of street violence in some other parts.
But as the Apollo 11 was to land on moon, people came together in a manner that was never seen before. Millions of people got glued to radio sets and black and white TVs (which was a luxury item in most countries) to see the grainy images and they watched with baited breath as Neil Armstrong put his foot on the moon.
In fact, there were reports in many new papers that when Armstrong set his foot on moon, crime came to a near halt.
BBC reported. "At the moment the spacecraft landed, Apollo 11 commander Armstrong said: "Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed."
Charlie Duke, the capsule communicator, responded from mission control in Houston: "Roger, Tranquillity. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again."
The two astronauts spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon's surface. "Collins on seeing the moon closely, said, "The first time when I saw the moon up close, it was magnificent spectacle. It was huge".
He added, "The sun was coming around it, cascading and making a golden halo". Collins said that first time when Neil Armstrong and Buzz landed on the moon, they set up an American flag and a plaque that read 'Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon'.
Collins also shared his "coffee experience" during the Apollo Mission saying, "Behind the Moon, I was by myself - all alone but not lonesome... I felt very comfortable back there; I even had hot coffee.
(When you think about it that way, hot coffee and no contact with the rest of humanity doesn't sound so bad)," said Collins.
Chandrayaan 2 is also set to create a record in the history of space science. Let us all join in wishing the mission a great success.