Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

After final manoeuvre, Chandrayaan-2 set for lander separation

After final manoeuvre, Chandrayaan-2 set for lander separation

Chandrayaan-2 has taken a relatively circuitous route to the moon.

At 1:15 pm on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) which has been continuously tracking and manoeuvring the spacecraft to bring it closer to the moon announced that it has successfully completed a separation process.

The lander Vikram is now in an elliptical orbit of 119 km x 127 km around the moon.

Speaking to IANS, Suyansh who could not hide his glee, said: "I am excited to watch Chandrayaan-2 landing on the moon's surface as well as to meet the Prime Minister".

Vikram, named after the father of India's space research programme Vikram A Sarabhai, is scheduled to land on the lunar surface near its south pole on September 7 at about 1.55 am.

The Vikram lander is now set to perform two deorbit burns, at 11:30 p.m. Sep.

A successful touchdown Friday by the Vikram lander would make India the fourth country to achieve a lunar landing after the US, the former Soviet Union and China.

The spacecraft entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday after the rough six weeks since liftoff, having attained the 100-km orbit with all the three components still intact and stuck together. ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan has noted that the parameters of the orbiter, lander, rover are in good condition.

ISRO said in a statement that, "The Vikram Lander successfully separated from Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter at 1315 IST today (Sept. 2)".

Praygyaan is Chandrayaan-2 six-wheeled rover that is now housed in the Vikram lander. The duration of the manoeuvre was 52 seconds. He noted that globally, the success rate of a soft landing on the Moon is around 37 per cent.

India's most ambitious space mission to date, Chandrayaan 2 had lifted off from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22. It will then release a small solar-powered rover dubbed Pragyan. It will stay within 500 metres of the lander during its one-lunar-day mission.

This mission will help 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.

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