Big day for moon mission, Chandrayaan 2 moves into lunar orbit on Tuesday
Chandrayaan 2’s move will be followed by four orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from Moon’s surface, ISRO has said.
In a significant step for India’s Moon mission, ISRO will fire the liquid engine of Chandrayaan 2 -- India’s second lunar mission -- on Tuesday to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit, 29 days after it was launched.
“It’s tomorrow morning (tentatively between 8.30 am and 9.30 am). It’s challenging,” Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Sivan told PTI on Monday on the operation to put Chandrayaan 2 in an orbit around the Moon.
This will be followed by four orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from Moon’s surface, ISRO has said. Subsequently, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2, according to the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency.
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, ISRO said. Chandrayaan2 had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.
Watch| Chandrayaan 2 about to create history: The journey so far
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.
The 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.
The health of 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 Byalalu, near Bengaluru.
All systems on board Chandrayaan2 spacecraft are performing normal, ISRO said on August 14. According to ISRO, Chandrayaan2 will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon, its South Pole.
“This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface,” the space agency has said.