Chandrayaan 2 has successfully entered the lunar orbit of the Moon on Tuesday. India's space agency ISRO on Tuesday said Chandrayaan 2 had executed one of the trickiest manoeuvres on its historic mission to the Moon. The agency said a series of orbit manoeuvres would be performed by Chandrayaan2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final orbit, passing the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon's surface. The next lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled tomorrow (August 21, 2019) between 12:30-13:30 pm IST, the space agency added.
Following this, Lander Vikram will soft land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019. "Our hearts stopped for 30 minutes till the job was done... Three more manoeuvres are to be completed. The next is tomorrow around 1 pm. The big event is on September 7 when the lander will be separated," said ISRO Chairman K Sivan.
Chandryaan-2 comprises an Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyaan). The mission life of Orbiter will be one year whereas the mission life of Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) will be one Lunar day, which is equal to fourteen days on the Earth. According to ISRO, Chandrayaan 2 -- India's second lunar expedition -- will explore the Moon's South Polar region.
Why will Chandrayaan 2 explore Moon's South Polar region?
1. Its craters have been untouched by sunlight for billion of years-offering an undisturbed record of the solar system's origins.
2. Its permanently shadowed craters are estimated to hold nearly 100 million tons of water.
3. It has traces of hydrogen, ammonia, methane, sodium, mercury and silver- making it an untapped source of essential resources.
4. Its elemental and positional advantages make it suitable pit stop for future space exploration.
Chandrayaan 2, which cost Rs 978 crore, was launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle. Chandrayaan 2 departed from Earth's orbit and moved towards the Moon on August 14.