After thirty days of space travel, India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2 has finally entered the Moon’s orbit. The spacecraft lifted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced the incredible feat in a tweet —
Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) of #Chandrayaan2 maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019). The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds beginning from 0902 hrs IST
For more details visit https://t.co/FokCl5pDXg
— ISRO (@isro) August 20, 2019
In an official post, the ISRO team said Chandrayaan-2 will complete a few more maneuver before separating from the lander. Following, “[lander] will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft-land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019.”
Why Chandrayaan-2 is a masterstroke for India?
Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission for Moon exploration. Prior to this, India carried out a Moon mission Chandrayaan-1 back ten years ago. It operated for almost a year and helped in discovering water molecules on the Moon.
Chandryaan-2 is a follow-up mission. Similar to the previous mission, ISRO’s goal with Chandryaan-2 to study the lunar surface. However, the team will also try to explore the South Pole region of Moon which remains unexplored.
The spacecraft will boost India’s position in space exploration globally. After landing the rover on the Moon surface, it will be one of the few countries (US, Russia, and China) who have successfully landed probes on the Moon’s surface.
Another reason why Chandryaan-2 is an achievement is because of its low cost. The entire project cost Rs 978 crore. This is much less than similar Moon-bound missions conducted by other countries.
Chandrayaan-2 was not an easy one. As Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO likes to put it, “one of the trickiest maneuvers on its historic mission to the moon“. According to the scientist, the approach velocity had to be perfect, even a small error would have thrown the spacecraft into deep space or it would have crashed onto the moon surface.
The next lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled tomorrow (August 21, 2019) between 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM.
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