Chandrayaan-2 mission moves another step closer to the Moon

Hari VishnuChandrayaan, Earth Observation, ISRO, space exploration

We continue our coverage of India's moon-bound mission Chandrayaan-2, which moved another step closer to reaching the Moon after it successfully entered the Moon's orbit.

After a series of Earth-orbit raising maneuvers, Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered the Moon's orbit via a Lunar Orbit Insertion maneuver on 20th August. Updates were tweeted by the official Twitter handle of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The maneuver lasted a tense 1738 seconds [1].

Following this, the spacecraft performed its second Lunar bound orbit maneuver on August 21.

The former director of the ISRO satellite centre, M. Annadurai used the following romantic metaphor to describe the complexity of the operation with a tinge of humor: "It is like a gentleman with a rose in hand proposing to a lady who is dancing at a stunning speed of 3,600 kilometres per hour (almost five times the speed of an airplane), and not next door, but at a distance of 3.84 lakh kilometres away. If the couple have to meet, then the precision and accuracy is of utmost importance." [1]

The Lander also took Moon images, the first of which was tweeted online by ISRO. The picture highlights the Mare Oriental basin, a large-scale bullseye-like lunar feature located at the Moon's western edge [2], and the Apollo craters. 

Following this, the spacecraft will perform some more orbit maneuvering in space to enable it to enter its final orbit passing over the poles of the Moon, at a distance of about 100 km from it’s surface. [3]

The lander will then separate from the Orbiter and enter into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon.  Then, it will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019. [3]

References

The featured image, "Full Moon"by Jayashankar8022 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0