Chandrayaan-2 gets closer to Moon

BENGALURU: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), on Friday (August 30) completed another lunar-bound manoeuvre and put Chandrayaan-2 in a new orbit around Moon. the integrated spacecraft is now in a 124kmX164km orbit.

This was the fourth lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2. “The manoeuvre was performed successfully beginning at 6.18pm using the onboard propulsion system. Manoeuvre duration was 1,155 seconds (19.25 minutes),” Isro said.

Stating that all spacecraft parameters were normal, the space agency said the next lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled for September 01 between 6pm and 7pm.

Chandrayaan-2 had entered the lunar orbit on August 20 after a 29-minute operation guided the spacecraft into a 114kmX18,072km orbit around Moon. After that Isro has carried out manoeuvres on August 21, 28, and 30.

Next major milestone will be the lander module separation, which, Isro has announced, will be on September 2.

On September 3, a day after the separation, the mission control centre in Bengaluru will run a ‘health check’ on Vikram and on September 4, Isro will do a de-orbit manoeuvre for 6.5 seconds to put Vikram in the lunar landing mode.

“We will check the parameters when the lander is in a 35km x 97km orbit. At 1.40am on September 7, the powered descent will start, and at about 1.55am, the lander will make the touchdown. Four hours later, the rover will roll out,” Sivan had said earlier.

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