India's 'Chandrayaan 2' successfully placed in Lunar orbit: Report
New Delhi : India's second moon mission achieved the "biggest milestone" as the scientists successfully placed it in the lunar orbit on August 20. The lunar-rover will now start a descent to the moon on September 7.
Scientists at Indian Space Research Agency (Isro) fired the propulsion system onboard Chandrayaan 2 in 1738 seconds to achieve a highly elliptical orbit of 114x18,072 km at 9.02am on Tuesday.
“This was an extremely critical point in the mission, I would say the biggest milestone only second to the lunar landing. The moon is a moving object and so is our spacecraft. To ensure lunar capture, several parameters such as the velocity and the inclination had to be precise,” an Isro official said on the condition of anonymity.
After this, the scientists will perform four more manoeuvres to reduce the orbit of the spacecraft around the moon to a circular nearly 100x100km orbit. The manoeuvers will take place on August 21, August 28, August 30, and September 1.
As mentioned by the ISRO, the orbiter will continue revolving in the moon orbit for over a year; the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will separate out of the orbiter on September 2, after which two more manoeuvres will bring it closer to the lunar surface before it starts its powered descent on Day 48 after the launch.
Chandrayaan 2 had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.