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Chandrayaan-2 costs less than hollywood blockbuster 'Avengers Endgame'

GSLVMkIII carrying Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, undergoing launch checks at the launch pad in Sriharikota. (Courtesy: Twitter.com/ISRO) Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 14, 2019, 08.59 AM (IST)

India will step up the international space race on Monday when it launches a low-cost mission to become only the fourth country to land a probe on the Moon.

Just five days before the 50th anniversary of man's first lunar landing, Chandrayaan-2 will blast off from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will launch at 2:51 am on July15. 

According to reports, India has spent about Rs 978 crore ($142 million) to get Chandrayaan-2 ready for the 384,400 kilometres (around 240,000 miles) trip from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre to the scheduled landing on the lunar South Pole on September 6. The nearly 1000 crore cost includes Rs 603 crore mission cost and Rs 375 crore for its launch, the cost of GSLV MK III. 

However, the cost is much lower than the recently released hollywood blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame", which was made in a whopping budget of Rs 2,443 crores ($356 million).

Earlier, ISRO's Mangalyaan was hailed for being far cheaper at $74 million than Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's Gravity which had an estimated budget of $100 million.

Watch: Chandrayaan-2 all set for 3.84 lakh km voyage

This will be India's first attempt to land on the moon and the rover will go to the moon's south pole where no country has gone before. It will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.

Till now only three countries have landed on the moon i.e. the Soviet Union, the United States and China.

The United States spent about $25 billion -- the equivalent of more than $100 billion in current prices -- on 15 Apollo missions, including the six that put Neil Armstrong, the first person to step on the moon, and other astronauts on the Moon. 

China landed its Chang'e 4 lunar craft in January, and spent $8.4 billion on its entire space programme in 2017, according to the International Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development figures.

And Russia -- the first country to land an unmanned Moon rocket in 1966 -- spent more than $20 billion at today's values on lunar missions in the 1960s and 70s.

(With inputs from agencies)