ISRO’s Chandrayaan -2 has made yet another successful step in its journey of making a soft-landing on Moon. On 20th August 2019, Tuesday, Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered lunar orbit.
Chandrayaan-2 which was launched on 22nd July 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad using Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III M-1 (GSLV Mark-III). The rocket was expected to launch on 15th July, however, due to some technical difficulty, it was rescheduled.
It entered the orbit on 9.30 Am. ISRO fired Chandrayaan-2’s liquid engine to achieve the major milestone. The liquid engine for kept ignited for about 1738 seconds. In the next stage, Vikram the Lander will separate from the orbiter on Sept 2.
The details of the operation were briefed by ISRO’s Chairman K Sivan, this morning when he addressed the media in a press conference after the successful event.
Now, to move on to the next step, the Vikram Lander will detach itself from the orbiter on September 2nd to continue its journey of making a soft landing on the lunar surface.
Before moving further into the mission, Chandrayaan-2 will complete 4 orbits manoeuvres of the moon and then it will place the spacecraft in its final position in the orbit. As explained by ISRO, these manoeuvres will enable the aircraft to enter its final orbit. This orbit passes over the lunar poles at a distance of 100 km from the surface. The South Lunar pole is the destined location for making the soft landing by Chandrayaan-2.
As explained by ISRO, the next lunar-bound orbit manoeuvres are scheduled on 21st August Wednesday. It will begin somewhere between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.
The soft landing is expected to happen on 7th September 2019. Further, before the powered descent for making the soft landing on the lunar surface, the Vikram Lander will perform two more orbit manoeuvres around the moon. This is one of the most crucial steps in the success of the mission.
ISRO is continuously monitoring all the functions and systems onboard Chandrayaan-2 and it is reported that they all are functioning normally.
“The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. All the systems of Chandrayaan 2 are healthy.” ISRO said.
India’s 1st mission to Moon “Chandrayaan-1” was launched 11 years ago. It was responsible for discovering the presence of water on the moon. Now, India’s 2nd Mission to Moon “Chandrayaan-2” will be India’s first attempt to make a soft landing on the moon. It will rank India amongst one of the top 4 countries to have successfully made a soft landing on the lunar surface.