The landing of the moon impact probe (MIP) on the lunar surface Friday night would mark the presence of India on the moon, the head of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in Bangalore.
"The landing of the impact probe will have an emotional significance for all Indians, as the tricolour touches the lunar surface, signifying India's presence on the moon," ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair told IANS.
The landing will make India the fourth country in the world to accomplish a planned impact of a probe. It will also be a unique mission, as the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft or the Chinese Chang-e spacecraft did not have such a payload.
The 34 kg probe box painted in saffron, white and green colours of the Indian flag is slated to hit the lunar surface 20-25 minutes after it is ejected out of India's first unmanned spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 at 8.30 p.m. from an altitude of 100 km above the moon.
Former president and India's top rocket scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be at ISRO's telemetry, tracking and command network (Istrac) on the outskirts of Bangalore to witness the historic moment.
"Kalam will be at the spacecraft control centre of Istrac with Nair and other top scientists to observe the complex exercise when the probe will be separated from the mother spacecraft by activating a small thruster to descend through a sequence of commands from Istrac in coordination with the deep space network (DSN)," ISRO director S. Satish said.
During its 100 km plunge from the spacecraft, the built-in video imaging system will take the pictures of the lunar surface and transmit the data in digital format to the ground station (DSN) for converting them into high resolution images.