'Our Heart Was Almost Stopping' | "Our heart was almost stopping", was how ISRO Chairman K Sivan described the tense moments when team Chandrayaan-2 attempted to inject the spacecraft into the lunar orbit on Tuesday. As ISRO scientists started firing Chandrayaan-2's onboard liquid engine to put the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon, Sivan said, "our heartbeat increased".
Addressing the media, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said the mission had achieved a milestone. "Chandrayaan-2 mission crossed a major milestone today, the precise lunar orbit insertion maneuver was carried out at 9 am for about 30 minutes and Chandrayaan 2 was precisely inserted in the defined orbit," he said.
Ending his address on a confident note, the ISRO chief says, "On September 7, at 1:55 am lander will land on the moon. Whatever is humanly possible, has been done by us." But Sivan said the proposed soft-landing on the Moon is going to be a "terrifying" moment as it is something ISRO has not done before, whereas LOI maneuver had been carried out successfully during the Chandrayaan-1 mission also. "Now the tension has only increased, not reduced," he said.
'On 14 August a Very Important Manoeuvre Happened' | After the launch of the mission on July 22, 5 earth bound orbits happened. On 14 August at 2;21 am, a very important manoeuvre happened. On 19th August around 2 pm the moon also got near the mission and then it entered the orbit, Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO.
Talking about the tricky nature of the operation, Dr Sivan explains, "A higher-than-expected approach velocity would have bounced off the spacecraft into deep space, while a slow approach would have led to the moon's gravity to pull Chandrayaan 2 and crash it on the lunar surface. The approach velocity had to be just right and the altitude over the moon rather precise. Even a small error or discrepency in the angle would have killed the mission."
Today's Manoeuvre Big Milestone, Says ISRO Chief | Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO is now addressing a press conference over Chandrayaan 2. "The spacecraft reached a major milestone today. The manoeuvre that took around 30 mins. Put it in defined orbit in the perfect manner, now it will be going around the moon with inclination of 88 degrees," he says.
All is Well, Says ISRO | ISRO said all the systems on Chandrayaan-2 were functioning normally, as expected and 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 maneuver is scheduled tomorrow for August 21, 2019, between 1230-13:30 hrs IST. There will be four more orbit manoeuvres, which will take the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into its final orbit of the Moon. This process of manoeuvering in the lunar orbit will be taking place from August 21 to September 1.
What Happens After the Spacecraft Lands on Moon? Once the Vikram lander has successfully landed on the surface, the Pragyan rover will do the exploration. This is a six-wheeled, AI-powered vehicle, which will collect data from the Moon’s surface. The rover has two primary instruments. The Lander and Rover are designed to work for 14 days, which is one lunar day.
Reactions have started to pour after Chandrayaan-2 was successfully placed in the lunar orbit today morning. One of the first to react is union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who writes:
What Next | Once Chandrayaan-2 is in the final orbit of the Moon, it will separate the Vikram lander from itself on September 2. It is the Vikram lander, which will make the soft landing on the moon. It will go through two more orbit manoeuvers before a powered descent for landing on the surface of the moon.
Chandrayaan 2 Placed in Moon's Orbit | India's moonshot Chandrayaan 2 has been successfully manoeuvred into lunar orbit today, after nearly 30 days of interstellar travel. This was am extremely crucial step in the spacecraft's journey as the approach velocity had to be just right and the altitude over the moon rather precise. Even a small error would have killed the mission.
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 Byalalu, near Bengaluru. All systems on board Chandrayaan2 spacecraft are performing normal, ISRO said on August 14.
Story of Chandrayaan-2 | Chandrayaan 2 had lifted off from India's spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22. The lift-off was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch. The mission stands out because of its low cost, with just about Rs. 1,000 crore spent — a much smaller price tag compared to similar missions by other countries.
Dark Side of the Moon | The Vikram lander will be landing on the southern pole of the Moon which has so far been unexplored. According to the ISRO, the Moon’s surface in the south pole is in the shadows more than the surface in the north pole. After it successfully lands, the spacecraft will rollout the rover for exploring the surface of the Moon there.
No Room for Errors in Moon Mission | The process of setting down Chandrayaan 2 on the Moon is very complex since it blasted off at a velocity of 39,240 kilometres per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air. ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan said, "One can imagine even a small error can make Chandrayaan 2 miss its rendezvous with the Moon."
How Chandrayaan-2 Will Capture Lunar Orbit | To make the spacecraft capture the lunar orbit and start going around the moon, its handlers at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fire its engines briefly to slow it down to capture the moon's orbit. The move, called the Lunar Orbit Insertion or LOI, is probably one of the two top orbit manoeuvres of the mission, along with the high point: the soft-landing of the Vikram lander on the southern polar region of moon on September 7.
Chandrayaan-2's Critical Manoeuvre Today | The moon-bound Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is scheduled to undergo a crucial orbit manoeuvre around 9.30 a.m. today morning as it approaches its destination.This is one of the most tricky operations in the mission because if the satellite approaches the Moon at a higher-than-expected velocity it will bounce off it and get lost in deep space. But If it approaches at a slow velocity, the Moon's gravity will pull the Chandrayaan 2 and it might crash into the surface.
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On Monday, ISRO Chairman K Sivan had called the step “challenging”. This was one of the trickiest operations in the mission because if the satellite approached the Moon at a higher-than-expected velocity it would bounce off it and get lost in deep space. But if it approached at a slow velocity, the Moon's gravity would pull the Chandrayaan-2 and it might crash into the surface.
Following this, there will be further four orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100km from Moon's surface, ISRO has said.
Subsequently, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2, according to the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency.
Two orbit manoeuvres will be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7, ISRO said.
Chandrayaan-2, launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.
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 Byalalu, near Bengaluru.
All systems on board Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are performing normal, ISRO said on August 14. According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 — India's second lunar expedition — will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon, its South Pole.
"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 has said.
"While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan-1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition," it said.
India's most ambitious space mission to date, Chandrayaan 2 had lifted off from India's spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22. The lift-off was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch. The mission stands out because of its low cost, with just about Rs. 1,000 crore spent — a much smaller price tag compared to similar missions by other countries.
If successful, the mission will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China. The last nation to attempt a soft landing on the Moon, Israel, failed in its earlier this year.
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