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Chandrayaan 2: ISRO’s giant leap successfully injects lunar spacecraft into Moon’s orbit

Ribhu Mishra
Chandrayaan 2, ISRO's Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan 2: In a significant development early on Tuesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed Chandrayaan 2 into the Moon's orbit. Chandrayaan 2 was maneuvered using onboard propulsion system, to exit the lunar transfer trajectory to be captured into the Moon's orbit. ISRO informed that "The Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully at 0902 hours IST on Tuesday, August 20. The duration of the critical maneuver was 1738 seconds. Chandrayaan 2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit with this maneuver. The orbit achieved by the lunar probe is 114 km x 18072 km."

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ISRO has informed that the lunar spacecraft will further orbit around the Moon for few days and a series of Moon-bound orbital maneuvers will be carried out on it. The space agency also stated that Chandrayaan 2 will undergo four orbital maneuvers over the Moon in order to position it over its poles. The distance of the final moon-bound orbit of the Chandrayaan 2 will be around about 100 km from the lunar surface. This will be followed by the detachment of Vikram Lander on September 2. Thereafter, Vikram Lander to enter into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. The lander will also undergo 2 orbital maneuvres in order to collect crucial information before finally landing on the South polar region of the Moon on September 7.

ISRO, in an update, informed that "The next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, between 1230 to 1330 hours IST."

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Chandrayaan 2 was launched by ISRO on July 22 using GSLV Mk III M-1 space vehicle from its Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. The lunar spacecraft, after a series of Earth-bound orbit raising maneuvers entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14.

ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 Moon-mission focuses on improvising on the data collected by its first Moon mission by conducting further examinations. Chandrayaan 1's data suggested the presence of water in the polar region of the Moon.

Chandrayaan 2 is a rover-based mission, and its Rover module Pragyaan, along with Vikram lander, will explore the Moon's surface for 1 Lunar Day (14 Earth days) and transmit data to the Orbiter as well as to ISRO's data centre in Banglore.