New Delhi: Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar exploration mission after 2008’s Chandrayaan-1, on Tuesday successfully completed its first de-orbiting manoeuvre using the onboard propulsion system, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced.
The manoeuvre, which started as per schedule at 8:50 AM today, lasted four seconds. The second de-orbiting manoeuvre will be carried out on September 4, between 3:30 PM-4:30 PM IST, before Chandryaan-2 makes its landing on the Moon, which it is scheduled for September 7.
The development comes just a day after ‘Vikram’, Chandrayaan-2’s lander, and ‘Pragyaan’, which is its rover, successfully separated themselves from the spacecraft on their journey towards landing on the Moon. On September 7, the spacecraft will make a 15-minute descent towards the lunar south pole.
The landing will make India only the fourth nation (after USA, Russia and China) to land a rover on the Moon and the first one to do so on the lunar south pole.
Chandrayaan-2, which has been developed by the ISRO, was scheduled to be launched on July 15; however, the launch had to be called off due to a technical snag. It was later launched into space, a week later, on Mark-III, a Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GLSV-MK III-M1), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sri Harikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The mission’s primary aim is to map the location and abundance of lunar water.