Chandrayaan 2 (Photo Credit: ISRO)
Using the onboard propulsion system, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft on Wednesday successfully performed the third lunar bound orbit maneuver. Well, it is a huge success for India's ambitious Moon mission. It is worth mentioning here that the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to land on lunar surface on September 7, 2019. Chandrayaan-2 was launched by ISRO on July 22, 2019. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 was carried out at 2.43 pm from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on-board GSLV Mk-III. In a tweet, ISRO said, “Third Lunar bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (August 28, 2019) at 0904 hrs IST.”
Meanwhile, in a statement, ISRO said, “Third Lunar bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (August 28, 2019) beginning at 0904 hrs IST, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was 1190 seconds. The orbit achieved is 179 km x 1412 km.”
All spacecraft parameters are normal. The next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled on August 30, 2019 between 1800 - 1900 hrs IST,” the Indian space agency added.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighs approximately 3290 kilograms and it would 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.
Chandrayaan-2 has three elements including the Rover, the Lander and the Orbiter. As soon as the spacecraft will make a soft landing on the moon, the lander will separate from the Orbiter and then perform a series of complex manoeuvres comprising of tough braking and fine braking.
The lander, named Vikram, will land near the Moon’s South Pole and then it will then carry out experiments on Lunar surface for 1 Lunar day. A single lunar day is equal to 14 Earth days. However. Orbiter will continue its mission for a duration of one year.
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.