India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, on Wednesday successfully completed another manoeuvre in the lunar orbit, as planned by the scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
The orbit of Chandrayaan-2 was lowered further in the second of the four manoeuvres required 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.
The propulsion system on board the orbiter of Chandrayaan 2 was fired for 1,190 seconds at 09:04 am on Wednesday to bring the spacecraft down to an elliptical orbit of 179 x 1,412 kms, the Isro said in a statement.
“All spacecraft parameters are normal,” Isro said.
Two more burns or the firing of the propulsion system will happen to reduce the apolune or the point at which a spacecraft in lunar orbit is furthest from the moon. The next burn will happen on Friday evening.
The final burn is scheduled for September 1 to bring the spacecraft into a circular orbit close to a 100×100 km orbit. This will be the final orbit from where the orbiter module of the spacecraft will collect data on the lunar surface and thin atmosphere for a year.
The next big milestone for Isro is expected on September 2 when the Vikram Lander and the Pragyan Rover will separate from the orbiter and start functioning on their own.
“The next major milestone will be when the lander separates from the orbiter on September 2. Till now, we have been working with the propulsion system of the orbiter,” Isro chairperson K Sivan had said after the insertion of the spacecraft in an orbit around the moon on August 20.
“From September 2, we will have to work with the lander propulsion system. This is the phase, including the powered descent, which we will be doing for the first time, whereas, the lunar orbit insertion we have already done once,” he added.
The day after the separation, Isro scientists will perform a small deboosting manoeuvre for 3 seconds to check the propulsion system of the lander. On September 4, the real 6.5-second manoeuvre to slow the lander-rover and bring it to a lower 100 x 35km orbit will take place.
The powered descent of the lander-rover will start at 01:40 am on September 7 and the landing will happen after 15 minutes. This is the stage where the Israeli mission Beresheet had failed, crashing on the lunar surface on April 11.
Aug 28, 2019 23:31 IST