Bengaluru: India’s second Moon Mission, Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered the lunar orbit today after nearly 30 days of journey in space.
The news was confirmed by ISRO on its Twitter handle.
— ISRO (@isro) August 20, 2019
Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019) at 0902 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds.
With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km.
The liquid apogee motors (thrusters) fired in the opposite direction to the spacecraft’s movement, therefore slowing it down in a what’s known as “retrofiring”. This allowed the spacecraft to come under the influence of the moon’s orbit.
Following this, there will be further four-orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from Moon’s surface.
Subsequently, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2, according to the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency.
Two orbit manoeuvres will be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7, ISRO
Chandrayaan 2 had lifted off from India’s spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22. The lift-off was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch.
The mission stands out because of its low cost, with just about Rs. 1,000 crore spent – a much smaller price tag compared to similar missions by other countries.
If successful, the mission will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China. The last nation to attempt a soft landing on the Moon, Israel, failed in its earlier this year.