Bengaluru: You can watch the launch of Chandrayaan 2, India's second mission to the moon, live at the launch centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday announced it will open online registrations on July 4 for the public to register to view the launch live. But this will also depend on their ability at playing 'fastest finger first' because the gallery can accommodate 5,000 people and the public will be allowed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The much-hyped lunar mission is scheduled to be launched at 2.51 am on July 15 (the intervening night of July 14 and July 15).
“We have done this (allowed the public to visit and witness) for two launches earlier, and we are allowing this time too. The registration opens at midnight on July 4,” said an ISRO spokesperson.
The lunar mission, coming a decade after Chandrayaan 1, has evoked particular interest among people as it includes a landing on the moon's south pole, apart from an orbiter that will go around the lunar object. Last week, a Congress MP from Assam had requested in the Rajya Sabha that all legislators be allowed to watch the launch on D-day -- a request Minister of State Jitendra Singh had said he would take up with ISRO.
“People have to register with their details on the website. These details will be, of course, checked at entry and they will be taken to a place where provision is made for viewing. Our limited capacity is of about 5,000 people," Isro spokesperson told News18.
However, watching it live won't mean that you would be all that close to the launch pad itself. The gallery for public will be five kilometres away at least, and a dense wooded stretch lies in between -- but it is inside the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota -- a centre that lies along the coastline, which is approximately a two-hour drive from Chennai.
Then again, once the rocket (the GSLV MkIII, in this case) is fired up and touches a height of 20 feet or so, people would be able to see it with the naked eye. They would also be able to watch the action in the Mission Control Centre where the countdown and the actual tracking of the movement of the rocket happens minutely -- this would be projected on a screen at the gallery.