Bengaluru: In a significant milestone for India's Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2 entered the lunar orbit. ISRO informed that the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully at 9:02am today as planned using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds.
Following this, a series of orbit maneuvers will be performed on Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to enable it 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 enters into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. Then, it will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019.
"Our heart was almost stopping", was how ISRO Chairman K Sivan described the tense moment when team Chadrayaan-2 attempted to inject the spacecraft into the lunar orbit.
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.
The next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled tomorrow (August 21, 2019) between 1230-13:30 hrs IST.
"It's challenging," K Sivan told PTI on Monday on the operation to put the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon.
The mission life of Orbiter would be one year, whereas that of lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) would be one Lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days.
"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", the space agency had said.
"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", it was stated.
Chandrayaan2, launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.
According to ISRO, Chandrayaan2 India's second lunar expedition will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon, it's South Pole.
"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," the space agency has said.
"While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition," it said.