Chandrayaan 2 (Photo Credit: ISRO)
The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) ambitious Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has today reached very close to the Moon. Yes, you read it right. The second de-orbiting Manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully performed Wednesday (today) early morning by the ISRO.
In a tweet, ISRO said, “The second de-orbiting maneuver for #Chandrayaan spacecraft was performed successfully today (September 04, 2019) beginning at 0342 hrs IST.”
Also, in a statement, the Indian space agency centre said, “The second de-orbiting maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (September 04, 2019) beginning at 0342 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was 9 seconds.”
ISRO further said, “The orbit of Vikram Lander is 35 km x 101 km. Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in an orbit of 96 km x 125 km and both the Orbiter and Lander are healthy.”
“With this maneuver the required orbit for the Vikram Lander to commence it descent towards the surface of the Moon is achieved. The Lander is scheduled to powered descent between 0100 - 0200 hrs IST on September 07, 2019, which is then followed by touch down of Lander between 0130 - 0230 hrs IST,” it added.
Take a look:
Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was launched on July 22, 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighs approximately 3290 kilograms and it was launched by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (or GSLV Mk) rocket.
Dubbed as ‘Baahubali’, the GSLV Mk-III rocket which stands 43 metres tall. In Chandrayaan-2, a total of 13 payloads are distributed across the three modules where the Orbiter and Vikram Lander are stacked upon each other whereas the Pragyan Rover is housed inside the lander.
The historic Chandrayaan-2 mission will target a completely unexplored section of the Moon that is, its “South Polar region - Aitken Basin”. By conducting topographical studies and mineralogical analyses alongside a few other experiments on the Moon’s Surface, the ISRO’s ambitious mission aimed to get a better understanding of the Moon’s origin and its evolution.
Importantly, if successful, the mission will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the Moon. It is worth mentioning here that Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to land on Moon on September 7, 2019.