September 2, next big day in Chandrayaan 2 journey
Chandrayaan 2 lifted off on July 22 onboard Isro’s most powerful launcher, the 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), from the country’s only launch site Satish Dhawan Space Centre.Updated: Jun 17, 2020 22:10 IST
Chandrayaan 2, India’s second moon mission, entered lunar orbit on Tuesday, executing one of the trickiest manoeuvres on its historic mission.
After four weeks of space travel, the craft completed its Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) as planned, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.
Chandrayaan 2 lifted off on July 22 onboard Isro’s most powerful launcher, the 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), from the country’s only launch site Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
If the rest of the mission goes according to the plan, the probe will land on the lunar South Pole on September 7.
In the next big step for the spacecraft, the scientists will perform four more manoeuvres to reduce the orbit of the spacecraft around the moon to a circular nearly 100x100km orbit. The manoeuvers will take place on August 21, August 28, August 30, and September 1.
In the final orbit, the orbiter will continue revolving around the moon, collecting data for a year. The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will separate out of the orbiter on September 2, the next big day, after which two more manoeuvres will bring it closer to the lunar surface before it starts its powered descent on Day 48 after the launch.
Two orbit manoeuvres will be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7, according to the agency said.
Chandrayaan 2 had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was carried out successfully.
The craft 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 Byalalu near the capital of Karnataka.
The Rs 978 crore mission carries 13 Indian scientific instruments for experiments. Imaging of rock will be done to find elements like magnesium, calcium and iron and also for signs of water. Mission will also study the exosphere of the moon.