Chandrayaan 2: What’s next for ISRO’s Moon-mission after Vikram Lander detaches from Orbiter

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Updated: September 2, 2019 5:42:13 PM

ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 Landing: The Orbiter and Vikram lander were successfully separated. The next big move in the lunar journey will be soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7.

Chandrayaan 2, ISRO's Chandrayaan 2Chandrayaan 2: The orbiter will continue its mission for a year using the eight scientific payloads which it carries.

Chandrayaan 2 Landing: After ISRO completed one of the most critical operations on Chandrayaan 2, there is anticipation and excitement about Chandrayaan’s next move as its landing date approaches closer. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Monday said it has successfully performed the separation process of the Vikram Lander and the Orbiter modules of its lunar spacecraft. The agency is now gearing up for the final landing process of the Vikram Lander on the lunar surface which is scheduled for September 7. Before the final landing procedure, the Lander module of ISRO’s spacecraft will undergo two deorbit maneuver. The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency stated that “All spacecraft parameters are normal after Monday’s maneuver of Chandryaan 2. The two different modules of the ISRO’s lunar probe are currently in the orbit of Moon for their rendezvous with the natural satellite of the Earth.”

The separation of the Lander module ‘Vikram’ and the Orbiter module of Chandrayaan-2 was successfully done on Monday, September 2 at 1325 hours IST. With this, the orbiter was left in a circular orbit around the Moon. However, the Lander Vikram will further undergo two deorbit maneuver to prepare for landing in the south polar region of the Moon. The next two deorbit maneuvers of the Vikram lander are scheduled for September 3 and September 4.

While elaborating the next steps in the lunar journey of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO informed, “After the Lander’s separation on Monday, two deorbit manoeuvres are scheduled for September 3 and September 4. The first deorbit maneuver will take place between 0845 and 1000 hours IST on September 3 and the second deorbit maneuver will take place between 0300 and 0400 hours IST. After these two important maneuvers the powered descent phase will begin on September 7 between 0130 and 0230 hours IST.

ISRO gave a detailed informed about the crucial seperation process on its website. ISRO stated, “The Vikram Lander successfully separated from Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter at 1315 hours IST on Monday at September 2, 2019. The Vikram Lander is currently located in an orbit of 119 km x 127 km. The Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in its existing orbit. The different parameters related to the health of the Orbiter and Lander are being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. All the systems of Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter and Lander are healthy. The next maneuver is scheduled on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 between 0845 and 0945 hours IST.”

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The lunar landing of Chandrayaan 2 will be followed by the procedure of the rover ‘Pragyan’ rolling out from within the Lander ‘Vikram’ between 0530 to 0630 hours IST on September 7. The Lander and Rover will further carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth-days.

The orbiter will continue its mission for a year using the Eight scientific payloads which it carries. It will continue mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon. On the other hand, the lander Vikram, which carries three scientific payloads will conduct surface and subsurface science experiments. The Rover, ‘Pragran’ carries two payloads to enhance the understanding of the lunar surface in the south polar region of the Moon. The Chandrayaan 1 had earlier suggested the presence of water in the aforementioned region of the Moon.

According to PTI, ISRO Chairman K Sivan has earlier said that “The proposed soft-landing on the Moon’s surface would be a ‘terrifying’ moment as it is something which is completely new to ISRO and has not been done before.” This statement

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