India's second lunar mission enters moon's orbit

Chandrayaan 2 to enter an orbit around the Moon today two weeks before planned soft landing

Chandrayaan 2 to enter an orbit around the Moon today two weeks before planned soft landing

At its lowest point relative to the Moon, also known as the perilune, it passes a mere 114 km (71 miles) from the surface of the Moon, while at its highest point, or apolune, it is 18,072 km (11,229 miles) distant.

Sivan also informed that lander would land on the moon on September 7 at 1:55 am. This made it easy for it to slip into the gravitational influence of the satellite planet.

"It was tense 30 minute operation". And had it approached at a slow velocity, the moon's gravity would have pulled it towards it, causing a crash.

If the orbit is not what it should be then the subsequent processes of the mission can not be carried out. By landing in the south pole, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are tasked with getting a better idea of just how much ice is up there and if it can be mined at all. It did, however, launch an impact probe that was intentionally crashed into the Moon. The collection of orbit manoeuvres will allow Chandrayaan 2 to enter its ultimate orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the moon's floor, ISRO mentioned.

"The duration of manoeuvre was 1,738 seconds". This is expected to occur on 2 September. During this time, mission control will adjust the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft's orbit and position it over the poles.

The ambitious Rs 978-crore second Moon mission with a lander and rover was launched on-board GSLV Mark-III from the state-run ISRO's rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh off the Bay of Bengal on the East Coast, about 80km north of Chennai.

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There have been many other improvements in navigation and sensor characterisation technologies. On Sept. 3, Isro will carry out a 3-second manoeuvre to check that the lander Vikram is in good health. "The rover will then start from the lander and at 4 am, the rover will touch the surface", he said. While its coming down, it will screen the landing site and compare it with the Isro images onboard. The Lander would have to decrease its velocity from 6km/second to zero in a controlled, but autonomous manner. This is crucial since ISRO's mission engineers won't be operating the spacecraft remotely.

The mission would have beat odds as only 37 per cent of attempted lunar landings have been successful. This will take approximately 15 minutes.

He further added that in due course this orbit will be brought down and at that time the inclination will achieve 90 degrees. "The main considerations will be that the slope of the landing site should be less than 12 degrees and free of boulders to prevent the lander from toppling", said Sivan. But the lander does carry 60-70 kilogrammes extra fuel for such exigencies.

However, the Lander Vikram will have to wade through several challenges before it lands on the moon.

For rolling Pragyan out of Vikram two hours after its landing, a ramp will be taken out of it for sliding the rover onto the Moon's surface four hours later.

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