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As Chandrayaan-2 Enters Moon's Orbit After Tricky Manoeuvre, ISRO Chief's Focus on 'Terrifying' Landing

Chandrayaan 2 — India's second lunar expedition — will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon — its South Polar region.

News18.com

Updated:August 21, 2019, 9:40 AM IST
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As Chandrayaan-2 Enters Moon's Orbit After Tricky Manoeuvre, ISRO Chief's Focus on 'Terrifying' Landing
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Bengaluru: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan on Tuesday described as “heart-stopping” the tense moments when Chandrayaan-2 attempted to inject the spacecraft into the lunar orbit.

Addressing the media after the successful move, Sivan said as ISRO scientists started firing Chandrayaan-2's onboard liquid engine to put the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon, "our heartbeat increased".

"For 30 minutes, our heart was almost stopping," he said after the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre was completed successfully at 0902 hours as planned, using the onboard propulsion system.

However, for Sivan, Tuesdsay was just the beginning as he described the proposed soft-landing on the Moon on September 7 as a "terrifying" moment because it is something ISRO has not done before, whereas LOI manoeuvre had been carried out successfully during the Chandrayaan-1 mission also. "Now the tension has only increased, not reduced," he said.

In a major milestone for India's Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday. "The duration of manoeuvre was 1,738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit," ISRO said.

Following this, a series of orbit manoeuvres will be performed on Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon’s surface, it said.

Subsequently, the lander will 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 manoeuvres to soft land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, ISRO stated.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on Wednesday between 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM, ISRO said.

Chandrayaan-2, launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14. According to ISRO, Chandrayaan 2 — India's second lunar expedition — will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon — its South Polar region.

"This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface", the space agency had said.

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