LUNATO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) – Luna 10, the world’s first spacecraft to launch from Sri Lankan soil, will launch on Monday from Tawangs spaceport, the country’s space agency said on Sunday.
Luna 10 is an unmanned lunar rover which has been built by the European Space Agency and NASA and will begin its mission to the Moon on Monday.
The mission will be the first to land on the surface of the Moon.
Lunatos first spacecraft landed on the Moon in 1979 and spent several years investigating the Moon and landing its first manned spacecraft on the planet.
The first humans to land successfully on the moon were the two American astronauts John Young and Neil Armstrong in 1969.
The launch will mark the first mission from SriLanka’s TAWang spacepoint.
The Tawanang spacapoint, which lies at the foot of the mountains that comprise Sri Lanka, is an important part of the countrys remote landscape.
The spaceport is just 500 metres from the sea and is about 1,200 metres (6,000 feet) above sea level.
The island of Kottayam, which is also a spaceport site, lies at its southern tip.
Luo said Luna 10 would use the Tawanga spaceport as its launching pad, as it had done for previous lunar missions.
It is the second lunar spacecraft to use Sri Lanka as its launch site, after the US lunar mission Luna 16 landed on Kottays lunar surface in November 2020.