Spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 enters Moon orbit

Vastavam web: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has successfully guided Chandrayaan-2 into an elliptical orbit around Moon. After a few more manoeuvres, the lander (Vikram) is expected to touch down on the lunar surface at 1.55am on September 7. Right now, Chandrayaan-2 is an integrated spacecraft comprising the orbiter on which Vikram is attached. Vikram, in turn, has inside it Pragyan (rover), which is expected to roll out about four hours after the lunar landing.

Speaking after the ‘lunar orbit insertion’ (LOI) that put Chandrayaan-2 in a 114km x 18,072km orbit around Moon, Isro chairman K Sivan, said: “We’ve crossed another milestone. A precise LOI put Chandrayaan-2 in the desired orbit perfectly.” He said in order to achieve the soft-landing on September 7, the spacecraft should achieve an inclination of 90°; as of Tuesday, Chandrayaan-2 has an inclination of 88°. The space agency will now perform four more manoeuvres – on August 21, 28, 30 and September 1 – to take the spacecraft to lower orbits.