ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 Moon Landing: Here’s how Vikram Lander is going to descend on lunar surface

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Published: September 6, 2019 12:45:33 PM

Chandrayaan 2 Landing News: The lander Vikram with Rover Pragyan housed inside it is set to make a powered-descent towards the lunar surface between 0100 and 0200 hours IST on September 7.

Chandrayaan 2, Chandrayaan 2 Landing News, ISRO's Chandrayaan 2 LandingChandrayaan 2: ‘ISRO’ released a video to explain how will the lunar landing of Vikram take place. (Image: ISRO)

Chandrayaan 2 Vikram landing: The most critical phase of ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 mission is set to take place in the wee hours on Saturday. The Vikram Lander, which detached from the Orbiter earlier this week, will make the lunar touchdown on September 7. The descent of the Vikram lander will start at around 0140 hours IST and the powered descent phase will continue for 15-minutes. At around 0155 hours IST the Vikram lander will touch the lunar surface. This crucial and critical landing phase will be carried out using at least eight types of equipment fitted onboard in a coordinated manner. The lander Vikram with Rover Pragyan housed inside it is set to make a powered-descent towards the lunar surface between 0100 and 0200 hours IST on September 7.

Hours before the initiation of the crucial operation the Indian space agency ‘ISRO’ released a video to explain how will the lunar landing of Vikram take place. ISRO, through the video, explained that the Lander Vikram which has at least three cameras installed onboard will be used. The Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC), Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera (LHVC) and Lander Hazardous Detection and Avoidance Camera (LHDAC) will ensure the soft landing of the Lander module of Chandrayaan 2.

Watch Video: Meet Vikram — Chandrayaan 2’s Lander!

There are two KA Bands onboard the Vikram-Lander. The KA Band Altimeter-1 and KA Band Altimeter-2. KA Band are the Kurtz-above band, part of the Kurtz (K) band in the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum. The lander also fitted with a Laser Altimeter (LASA). LASA is an instrument used to learn about the topography or the shape of the surface of a planet or celestial object. The LASA will be controlled through the Orbiter revolving around the Moon. The is also fitted with five 800N Liquid thruster engines, solar panels and touchdown sensors. During the rough braking phase, which will be conducted at an altitude of about 100 km above the lunar surface, the four engines on the four side of the cubicle will be used. This will slow down the orbital velocity of the lander.

Following the aforementioned operations, the Absolute Navigation Phase, KA Band-1, Laser Altimeter and Lander Position Detection Camera will be activated to identify and ensure that the Vikram lander is located in the space just above the Moon surface. The location needs to be a flat lunar surface to help the lander sit perfectly on the ground.

READ | Chandrayaan-2: Space expert on why Vikram’s soft-landing is most complex in ISRO’s history

The onboard Lander Position Detection Camera of Vikram lander will be switched on to identify the perfect location for a safe landing on the lunar surface. The two engines of Vikram lander will be ignited at this hovering stage, almost 400 metres above the Moon’s surface. Subsequently, the Ka-band 2, LASA and LHVC equipment will be then activated. This will be followed by a re-targeting phase where the LASA, KA Band-2, LHVC and LHDAC equipment will be activated for the perfect landing.

At an altitude of just 10 meters above the lunar surface, ISRO will carry out a parabolic (curved) descent of the Vikram lander for the soft landing. During this process, ISRO will ignite and use the central engine, and perform a comfortable landing using the touchdown sensors placed at the bottom of the stands.

Watch Video: Chandrayaan 2: ISRO’s Vikram lander, Pragyan rover set to create history!

After a successful touchdown, three payloads namely the Chaste, Rambha and Ilsa will be deployed from the Vikram lander. Chaste which is located at the lower edge of the cubical Vikram Lander, will extend just like one of its stands touching the ground. The Rambha payload located at the upper side of the outer wall off the lander will extend like a rod while the third payload Ilsa is located at the bottom.

The Vikram lander is fitted with solar panels on its outer walls. They will be used for power generation for the project.

The Rover Pragyaan which is housed inside the rover will roll out approximately 4 hours after the touchdown. It will carry out intense inspection of Moon’s surface.

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