Chandrayaan-2 Enters Lunar Orbit; Landing Expected on September 7

ISRO GSLV MkIII-M1 website
Image Courtesy: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday announced that the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver of its Chandrayaan 2 was completed successfully on August 20. The spacecraft will now undergo a series of ‘orbit maneuvers’ to enter its final orbit that passes over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the moon’s surface.

According to the space agency, the LOI was completed successfully at 9.02am using the on-board propulsion system. The lander, named Vikram, will separate from the orbiter and enter into a 100km X 30km orbit around the Moon, following which, it will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft land in the lunar South Pole on September 7. The next lunar-bound orbit maneuver is scheduled for Wednesday, between 12.30 and 1.30PM IST.

ISRO also reassured observers that all systems in the Chandrayaan 2 are healthy. The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near the Karnataka capital.

Chandrayaan 2, India’s high-profile lunar mission, lifted off on July 22 aboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, a week after a technical glitch resulted in the postponement of the launch. The mission comes 11 years after the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO’s) first successful lunar mission, the Chandrayaan 1, which orbited the moon more than 3,400 times and was operational for 312 days until August 29, 2009.

The Chandrayaan 2 is a 3,850 kg three-component spacecraft comprising an orbiter, the lander ‘Vikram’ and rover ‘Pragyan’. As per ISRO, the major activities include Earth-bound maneuver, the trans-lunar insertion, lunar-bound maneuvers, Vikram’s separation from Chandrayaan-2 and touch down on the Moon’s South Pole.

With inputs from IANS

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