Chandrayaan-2 enters Moon’s orbit four weeks after launch

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India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 was successfully placed into the moon’s orbit on Tuesday, 20 August, after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) fired the mission’s liquid engine.

The spacecraft got into the lunar orbit at 9:02 am on Tuesday, ISRO said.

ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan will brief the media at 11:00 am on Tuesday to speak about the successful Lunar Orbit Insertion.

Following this, there will be four more orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the moon’s surface, ISRO has said.

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Subsequently, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on 2 September, 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 7 September.”

Chandrayaan2, launched on 22 July by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on 14 August after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.

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 Byalalu, near Bengaluru.

All systems on board Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are performing normal, ISRO said on 14 August.

Chandrayaan2 – India’s second lunar expedition – will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the moon, its 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 Chandrayaan-1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition.”

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