As Chandrayaan-2 Enters Lunar Orbit, ISRO Tweets 'Nearing Our Destination'
Several risks had threatened the tricky process of Chandrayaan-2's successful insertion into the moon's orbit.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan. (Twitter/ANI)
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) tweeted that Chandrayaan-2 took 1738 seconds to enter the lunar orbit, completing one of the most precarious aspects of its month-long space travel successfully.
"Nearing our destination!" read a graphic showing the lander and rover approaching the moon's orbit in ISRO's 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," said another. The space research organisation also posted real-time updates tracking the extremely delicate manoeuvre on its website.
The spacecraft's insertion into the lunar orbit was completed using an onboard propulsion system and went as planned.
Several risks had threatened Chandrayaan-2's successful insertion into the moon's orbit. Had it approached the moon at a higher velocity, the lander and rover would have ricocheted and got lost in deep space. Alternatively, if the velocity was slower, the spacecraft would have crashed on the moon's surface, after being pulled by its gravity.
ISRO further tweeted that now that Chandrayaan-2 was in the lunar orbit, its Vikram lander is expected to land on the moon's south pole on September 7.
India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 was launched into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Staion in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota on July 22, a week after it was aborted under an hour of the launch.
The mission, which cost only about Rs 1,000 crore, will place India among the ranks of Russia, United States and China — the only three nations that have been to the moon before.
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