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India's Mission Moon: Chandrayaan 2 successfully enters lunar orbit

Around 9 am on August 20, the spacecraft successfully entered the orbit

By PTI in Bengaluru

  • Published 20.08.19, 12:14 PM
  • Updated 20.08.19, 12:14 PM
Isro's GSLV MkIII-M1 which was used to launch the Chandrayaan-2 at Sriharikota.
Isro's GSLV MkIII-M1 which was used to launch the Chandrayaan-2 at Sriharikota. AP file photo

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit on August 20. 

According to Isro, the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre was completed successfully at 0902 (9 am) hours as planned, using the craft's on-board propulsion system. "The duration of the manoeuvre was 1,738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a lunar orbit," Isro said.

Following this, a series of orbit maneuvers will be performed, in order to enable the spacecraft to enter its final orbit, passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon's surface. Subsequently, the lander will separate from the orbiter and enter into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. It will then perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to soft land in the south polar region of the Moon on 7 September.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex at Isro's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network  in Bengaluru, with the support of Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru.

The next lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on August 21, between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm.

This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface. [...] While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan 1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition.

ISRO Statement

Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 by a GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, and had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on 14 August. According to ISRO, Chandrayaan 2 will also shed light on hitherto unexplored sections of the Moon's South Polar region. Chandryaan-2 comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyaan). The mission life of the orbiter will be one year, whereas the mission life of the lander  and rover will be one lunar day, equivalent to fourteen earth days.

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