Jorhat girl Devaleena Hazarika Credit: Rishu Kalantri

Tinsukia: Devaleena Hazarika, a Class-VIII student of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Assam’s Jorhat district, around 180 km from Tinsukia and 305 km from Guwahati, has been selected to watch the landing of Chandrayaan-2 on the surface of the moon, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 7.

Along with 59 other children, Hazarika will witness the historic occasion at 1.55 am IST at the headquarters of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru, Karnataka. A total of 1,50,279 students from various Kendriya Vidyalayas from all over the country had participated in the online ‘Space Quiz’ conducted by the premier space organisation.

Naturally on cloud nine, Hazarika told EastMojo: “I am short of words to express my happiness and feelings. My mom, Geetali Hazarika, broke the news to me when I returned from school on August 28. She recieved a call during school hours informing her about my selection. This was followed by a letter from the director of DSRQ, ISRO (HQ) Suresh M R.”

The letter issued by ISRO to Devaleena Hazarika

“I actually don’t know what is going to happen on September 7. I have seen visuals of rocket landing on moon, astronaut — in white attire with helmet up to neck — walking on the moon over television. But this time, it will be in real time, from inside India’s space agency headquarters, witnessing the historical moment with top scientists and the Prime Minister — something beyond my imagination,” she said.

“This experience is going to have a major impact on me. I am already feeling as if one day I will be walking on the moon, in astronaut’s attire, something previously I never thought of,” Hazarika said, adding, “I have interest in science and maths. I also play violin and love to dance and enjoy music.”

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According to Hazarika, ISRO had conducted an online quiz on August 25 and all the students from Class VIII to X of her school had participated. “Before appearing for this exam, I prepared myself by reading a lot about ISRO, space, Chadrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2, from the Internet and this helped me a lot,” she added.

Hazarika is travelling to ISRO HQ along with her father, Sanjeev Hazarika, who is an electrical engineer working in a private firm. The duo will board a flight from Guwahati to Bengaluru on Thursday.

Talking to EastMojo, her father said, “My entire family is extremely happy and delighted. Had it not my daughter’s achievement, I would never get a chance to witness this historical moment right from the ISRO.”

She has made us proud, he said in a joyous tone.

Talking to EastMojo, Jorhat deputy commissioner Roshani A Korati said, “Devaleena has made Jorhat district proud. We shall felicitate her on return.”

One of the first images of the Earth, clicked by LI4 Camera of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander, as viewed from space

India’s first moon lander — Vikram — is scheduled to land on the south polar region of the moon on September 7 between 1:30am and 2.30am.

The second de-orbiting manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully carried out early on Wednesday, the ISRO said, inching towards achieving a historic soft-landing on the lunar surface. The nine-second de-orbiting or retro-orbiting manoeuvre was executed at 3:42 am using the onboard propulsion system, the space agency said.

On Tuesday, the first de-orbiting manoeuvre for the spacecraft was carried out, a day after lander ‘Vikram’ was separated from the orbiter.

If India soft lands on the moon by putting the Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover on the moon surface successfully, it would become the fourth country to execute this complex feat after the US, Russia and China.

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