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India Plans to Launch Moon Mission in July

  • Rover would analyze lunar crust for signs of water, helium-3
  • India trying to be the fourth nation to land on lunar surface
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft Lander Vikram module.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft Lander Vikram module.Photographer: Karen Dias/Bloomberg
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India will launch a lunar mission on July 15, attempting to become the fourth country to land on the moon and cementing its place among the world’s space faring nations.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission aims to deliver a rover to an elevated plane close to the uncharted lunar South Pole on Sept. 6 or 7 and investigate the surface for signs of water and potentially new sources of abundant energy. It’s one step in an envisioned progression that includes putting a space station in orbit and -- eventually -- landing a crew on the moon.