The ISRO Chandrayaan 2 mission has moved one step closer to the moon. Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully on 20 August 2019. The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds and the orbit achieved was 114 km x 18072 km.
Following this, a series of orbit maneuvers 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, said ISRO. “This maneuver precisely injected Chandrayaan-2 into an orbit around the Moon. The satellite is currently located in a lunar orbit with a distance of about 114 km at perilune (nearest point to the Moon) and 18,072 km at apolune (farthest point to the Moon),” said Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO.
Till 1 September 2019 a series of four-orbit maneuvers 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 and the Vikram lander will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft-land in the South polar region of the Moon between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N on 7 September 2019.
Eminent personalities from across the country took to social media to congratulate ISRO on achieving this feat. “Congratulations to Team ISRO on Chandrayaan 2 entering the Moon’s orbit. This is an important step in the landmark journey to the Moon. Best wishes for its successful culmination,” tweeted prime minister Narendra Modi.
Why ISRO Chandrayaan 2 Wants to Land on the South Pole of the Moon?
ISRO has released an infographic stating the importance of landing on the south pole of the moon. The following are the insights Chandrayaan 2 will attempt to obtain:
- The permanently shadowed craters on the moon are estimated to hold nearly 100 million tons of water.
- Its regolith (layer of loose, heterogeneous superficial deposits) has traces of ammonia, hydrogen methane, silver, mercury, and sodium, thus making it an untapped source of essential resources.
- It is a preferred and suitable pit for future space exploration missions due to its positional and elemental advantages.
- The south pole can offer an undisturbed record of the solar system’s origin as it has been untouched by sunlight for billions of years.
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. All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 are healthy and the next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled on 21 August 2019.