India’s next moon mission will launch early Friday morning (July 14), and you can watch the historic action live.
The robotic Chandrayaan 3 mission, which aims pull off India’s first-ever moon landing, is scheduled to launch atop an LVM3 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Friday at 5:05 a.m. EDT (0905 GMT, or 2:35 p.m. local time).
Chandrayaan 3 consists of a lander and a rover, each of which carries a handful of scientific instruments. If all goes according to plan, the duo will touch down softly near the moon’s south pole in late August, then study their environs for about one lunar day (roughly 14 Earth days).
With a successful touchdown, India would join a very exclusive club: To date, only the United States, the Soviet Union and China have successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon.
Chandrayaan 2 wasn’t a total failure, however; the mission also featured an orbiter, which arrived safely and continues to study the moon today. (There’s no lunar orbiter on Chandrayaan 3.)
Chandrayaan 3 will be Friday’s second liftoff, if all goes to plan. SpaceX aims to launch 54 of its Starlink internet satellites at 12:40 a.m. EDT (0440 GMT) from Florida on that same morning. And California-based company Rocket Lab is planning a launch of its own from New Zealand on Friday afternoon.