ISRO's Chandrayaan 2: The Vikram lander is scheduled to detach from the Orbiter on September 2 and will initiate the touchdown procession on September 7
Chandrayaan 2: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday successfully carried out a crucial manoeuvre in which the space agency placed its lunar spacecraft into the orbit of the Moon. The next challenging move for the agency would be landing the spacecraft on the Moon’s surface safely. ISRO is set to perform the lunar landing of Vikram-lander on September 7. The Tuesday manoeuvre by ISRO was crucial as even a minute mistake in the lunar injection process would have resulted in the loss of spacecraft in deep space or crashed it into the Moon’s surface. Now, with the Chandrayaan 2 precisely placed into the orbit of the Moon, more precision and accuracy is required for further operations. ISRO had earlier placed its Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft into the Moon’s orbit, but the agency has never performed a soft landing on the lunar surface and this will serve as a much bigger challenge.
Chandrayaan 2 landing on Moon: Step-by-step guide to ‘terrifying’ process
- The Vikram lander of the Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to detach from the Orbiter on September 2 and will initiate the touchdown procession on September 7
- On September 3, a small 3-second manoeuvre will be performed to check whether all systems of the Lander module are working well on not
- The Vikram lander will perform orbital descent from September 2 to September 7 before entering into the final descent phase
- During the orbital descent, the Lander will examine and click pictures of the lunar surface to identify a flat and hazard-free landing zone. The polar region of the Moon is populated with craters and any mistake could lead to loss of the lander module
- On September 7, the Vikram-lander will perform descent towards the Moon’s surface. It will begin at 0140 hours IST and will end at 0155 hours IST with the touchdown of Vikram lander
- This process is termed as ‘Powered Descent’ and requires extreme accuracy, skill and precision
- In the final phase of the lunar landing, the Vikram lander which has a weight of 1471 kg will perform a descent at a touchdown velocity of 2 meters per second. Any minute mistake can lead to the failure of the mission
- The final soft landing window is expected to be a 15-minute long process. The process will include a series of rough braking and fine braking manoeuvres to safely land the lander and Pragyan rover on the Moon’s surface
- The braking has to be managed very precisely as any mistake can result is the crash landing of Vikram. During this process, ISRO scientists will have to take care of factors like navigation, guidance, controls, propulsion, sensors among other operational constraints
- After the landing has been successfully performed, the rover module Pragyan will roll out. The rover is mounted inside the lander
- The rover will roll out at around 0600 hours IST. It will roll out on the lunar surface after a gap of four hours of a successful landing
Since the landing process requires monitoring of various important credentials of the spacecraft along with extreme precision and the fact that even a minute mistake can lead to the failure of the mission, it was termed as a ‘terrifying’ process.