Chandrayaan-2 just four steps away from landing on the Moon

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on August 20, 2019 Published on August 20, 2019

Exuding confidence ISRO Chairman K Sivan at a press conference in Bengaluru on Tuesday   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

Key Lunar Orbit Insertion manoeuvre carried out successfully

India’s Moon Mission, Chandrayaan-2, has entered Moon’s orbit. It is four steps from landing on the Moon.

On Tuesday, ISRO successfully completed Chandrayaan-2’s Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre. The manoeuvre was carried out in the morning and completed in 1,738 seconds beginning 09:02 am.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan, addressing reporters after the manoeuvre, said: “With today’s LOI, we have got closer (to the Moon). The next lunar orbit manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 is expected on Wednesday between 12.30 and 1.30 pm and subsequently on August 28, August 30 and September 1.

After these manoeuvres, the Vikram Lander is expected to separate from the Orbiter on September 2 and take position when the lander-rover starts its descent to the Moon to land on September 7. According to Sivan, “Today’s manoeuvre is the biggest milestone for us at ISRO. The entire process took about 15 minutes... full of suspense...”

He further said from when the process of insertion commenced till the end, “our hearts stopped”. Chandrayaan-2 had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after the final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.

Modi greets ISRO

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded ISRO by tweeting: “Congratulations to Team @isro on #Chandrayaan2 entering the Moon’s orbit. This is an important step in the landmark journey to the Moon. Best wishes for its successful culmination.”

ISRO’s Moon Mission took off on July 22 on its most powerful launcher, the 640-tonne GSLV-Mark III rocket, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

“Through this mission, we aim to expand on the findings of Chandrayaan-1.... develop and demonstrate key capabilities such as soft landing and roving on the lunar surface. Design and deploy the Vikram Lander on a specified lunar site and deploy the Pragyan Rover to explore the Moon’s surface,” pointed out Sivan.

The ISRO mission is completely an indigenous one with considerable private sector participation. The mission cost break-up is as follows: ₹603 crore for the spacecraft system and ₹375 crore for the launcher. Nearly 620 organisations (500 universities and 120 companies) pitched in with their tech-might and manpower.

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Published on August 20, 2019
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