Chandrayaan 2: Lander Vikram successfully undergoes de-orbit manoeuvre

Chandrayaan 2: Lander Vikram successfully undergoes de-orbit manoeuvre

Chandrayaan 2: Lander Vikram successfully undergoes de-orbit manoeuvre

The manoeuvre began at 0850 hours and had a duration of 4 seconds.

Its mission, Chandrayan-2, has today successfully released its rover, Vikram, from the orbiter and sent it towards the moon's surface. On Vikram's course next were two de-orbit manoeuvres, of which it has already performed on Tuesday at 8:50 AM IST. The next de-orbiting manoeuvre is scheduled for Wednesday between 3.30 and 4.30 am (IST). The effort is to soft-land the lander in the South polar region of the Moon between two craters - Manzinus C and Simpelius N - on September 7, 2019. The lander will remain static at the landing location, and will relay data of the rover and its own to the orbiter, which in turn will relay it to the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) located at Byalalu, near Bengaluru.

"The manoeuvre was considered critical because it marks an important phase of the lunar landing process of Chandrayaan-2 and even a minute hurdle during this manoeuvre could have an impact on the whole mission", said Sivan. The agency confirmed the lander and orbiter are healthy with the lander in an orbit of 119 kilometers by 127 kilometers.

The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year.

With this maneuver, the Vikram lander module of Chandrayaan 2 mission is now just a few steps away from making contact with the lunar surface.

A lot of developments have taken place with Chandrayaan-2 during the past one week.

Rover Pragyaan, a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will roll out from the lander once they touch the ground to carry out various tests on the lunar soil. This will be crucial as an uneven landing site could tilt the lander and make the rolling out of the rover hard, which in turn could jeopardise the mission. The India's second Lunar mission crossed yet another major milestone when Vikram Lander was successfully separated from the Orbiter yesterday. Till now, we have not operated the systems on-board the lander, especially the propulsion system.

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