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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Chandrayaan 2 in lunar orbit, ISRO chief’s focus is ‘terrifying’ Sept 7 move

Chandrayaan-2: Briefing the media, Sivan said there will four more manouevres to reduce the orbit and on September 2 the lander will be separated from the orbiter.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2019 12:58 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Chennai
Sriharikota: India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, Monday, July 22, 2019.
Sriharikota: India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, Monday, July 22, 2019.(PTI)
         

Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday. Indian Space Research Organisastion chief K Sivan said it was a “major milestone” but reminded that the mission on September 7 was “more terrifying”.

The lander of Chandrayaan 2, Vikram, is expected to soft land on the moon on September 7.

“Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) of #Chandrayaan2 maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019). The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds beginning from 0902 hrs IST,” Isro tweeted.

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Briefing the media, Sivan said there will four more manouevres to reduce the orbit and on September 2 the lander will be separated from the orbiter. “When the descent starts, and the landing gets closer it will be more terrifying for us. Now the tension has only increased, not reduced,” he added and reminded that the success rate of landing of the moon is just 37%.

 

Chandrayaan will continue circling the moon in a tighter orbit until reaching a distance of about 100 kilometers from its surface. Once, Chandrayaan 2 lands on the lunar surface a rover will search for water deposits that were confirmed by Chandrayaan, India’s first mission to the moon.

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.

A successful landing will make India the fourth country after the US, the erstwhile USSR, and China to land on the moon. It will also be the first time a lander-rover will explore the south pole of the moon. A successful landing, among other things, will also solidify India’s position as a pioneer of low-cost space exploration.

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 Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Chandrayaan 2 comes 11 years after Chandrayaan-1, which was launched on October 22, 2008, and orbited the moon at a height of 100km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping.

First Published: Aug 20, 2019 12:33 IST