Chandrayaan 2: After final lunar orbit manoeuvre, lander-orbiter separation today
Chandrayaan 2: Seen as one of the most challenging moves of the mission, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will separate out of the orbiter between 12:45 and 1:45 pm on September 2.
In a big day for India’s second mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan 2 lander-rover will separate from the orbiter on Monday. The final orbit lowering manoeuvre of Chandrayaan 2 was conducted by scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation on Sunday evening.
Seen as one of the most challenging moves of the mission, the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will separate out of the orbiter between 12:45 and 1:45 pm on September 2. The propulsion system on-board the indigenously developed lander will be operated for the first time after the separation move.
The next big day is on September 7 when the descent to the lunar surface will begin. The indigenously designed spacecraft — comprising an orbiter, a lander and a rover — is expected to touch down on the moon’s surface in the early hours of the morning of September 7. The rover, called Pragyan, will examine the lunar surface, search for water, and probe craters and traps that could untangle key questions about the history of the solar system.
Watch: ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 captures images of Moon’s craters
The major concerns for the lunar landing will be the backflow of the lunar dust. A fifth central engine was added to prevent the lunar dust from covering the lander. the fifth engine would be switched on reaching the altitude of 13 m.
ISRO chairman K Sivan had said that soft-landing on the moon would be a “terrifying moment” as it is something the space agency would do for the first time.
A successful landing on the lunar surface will make India the fourth country in the world after the US, USSR, and China to soft-land on the moon. Chandrayaan 2 will also be the first mission to land on the south Pole of the moon.
Chandrayaan will continue circling the moon in a tighter orbit until reaching a distance of about 100 kilometers from its surface. Once, it lands on the surface a rover will search for water deposits that were confirmed by India’s first mission to the moon Chandrayaan.