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Home >Science >News >Chandrayaan-2 now a week away from its historic touchdown on the moon

NEW DELHI : Chandrayaan-2 is now only seven days away from its historic touchdown on the moon, after it successfully completed its penultimate lunar manoeuvre, on Friday evening.

In its latest update, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) stated that the spacecraft has officially gone further than its predecessor, Chandrayaan-1 launched eleven years ago in October 2008. At around 6:18 pm, scientists powered the spacecraft using the onboard propulsion system for 1155 seconds and put it into an orbit of 124x 164 kms.

"Chandrayaan-2 to Mission Control- Four done, one to go", tweeted ISRO post the maneuver. The next and last lunar bound maneuvre would be performed on September 1, when scientists would further lower the spacecraft in a near-circular orbit which would be roughly 100 kms from the lunar surface. This is where the orbiter would finally settle and start its year-long exploration of the lunar exosphere and surface.

“All spacecraft parameters are normal," confirmed the premier space agency which is continuously monitoring the health of the spacecraft from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.

The next crucial step of the mission would be performed on September 2, when Lander Vikram which also houses Rover Pragyaan would separate from the obiter and enter into a 100 km x 30 km orbit around the moon.

Over the next four days, scientists would check and verify if the various parameters of the Lander are working as expected, beginning with a three-second manoeuvre on September 3. A series of complex braking manoeuvres would then be undertaken to bring it closest to the moon.

The historic moon landing would be attempted on September 7, when the Lander Vikram named after the Father of India’s Space Programme, Dr Vikram Sarabhai would begin its power descent on the moon. If all goes as planned, the spacecraft would be on the lunar soil at precisely 1:55 am on September 7.

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the moon and aims to explore the South Pole of the moon, where no country has ever been before. Its mission module consists of an obiter, Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyaan which was launched into space on July 22.

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