Published: Mon, September 23, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Chandrayaan 2 edges closer to moon's surface after completing second orbital manoeuvre

Chandrayaan 2 edges closer to moon's surface after completing second orbital manoeuvre

The Indian Space Research Organization said it successfully maneuvered Chandrayaan-2, the Sanskrit word for "moon craft", into lunar orbit, almost a month after it left Earth. These maneuvers will bring it to a soft landing on the surface on September 7th, 2019, and if everything goes according to plan, it will make India the fourth country on Earth to accomplish such a feat.

After four weeks of space travel, the craft completed its Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) as planned, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.

"The duration of manoeuvre was 1,738 seconds". Subsequently, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2, 2019 and for two days it will calibrate its systems.

ISRO also said that the next lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled for Wednesday, August 21, between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm. This was one of the trickiest operations in the mission.

The burn continued for almost 1,738 seconds which is approximately 29 minutes.

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As per a notification released by ISRO, all the systems of Chandrayaan 2 are working successfully.

A rover will study permanently shadowed moon craters that are thought to contain 100 million tons of water, deposits that were confirmed by India's Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Tuesday, 20 August after a week sojourn from liftoff.

On July 22, the Chandrayaan-2 was injected into an elliptical orbit of 170X45,475 km by India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style. "Whatever is humanly possible, has been done by us".

"Our heartbeats increased. for 30 minutes, our hearts nearly stopped", Mr Sivan said. The space agency notes that even a small error would have killed the mission. The ambitious mission, which is comprised of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, has the goal of shedding new light on the creation and evolution of Earth's closest celestial neighbor. This is an important part of the orbiter's mission: surveilling its year-long home for the first time, ensuring that no damage was caused to its instruments on the journey thus far, and a thorough examination of the Vikram lander's landing site at the moon's South Polar region.

Vikram is created to carry out in-situ experiments for one lunar day, which is the equivalent to 14 Earth days.

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