Chandrayaan-2 was successfully placed in the Moon’s orbit on Tuesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. The Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver which took a little over 28 minutes was completed at 9:02 am.
“Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019) at 0902 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km,” ISRO said in a statement.
The space agency said that, following this, a series of orbit maneuvers will be performed on Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon’s surface.
“Subsequently, the lander will separate from the Orbiter and enters into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. Then, it will perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019,” read the statement.
“The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru,” it said.
All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 are healthy, the space agency said adding that the next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled on August 21 between 1230-13:30 hrs IST.
Chandrayaan-2 will explore a region of the moon where no mission has ever set foot. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover together referred to as “composite body”.
The spacecraft will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface. This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to carry out a soft landing on the moon.