Chandrayaan 2 enters lunar orbit after 'tricky manoeuvre'

Pablo Tucker
November 4, 2019

Of course, they had to pair up the mission's successful progress with Ganesh Gaitonde's line "Chand pe hai apun" from Netflix's Sacred Games 2.

While many users appreciated their creativity, not every one endorsed the ad.

After thirty days of space travel, India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2 has finally entered the Moon's orbit.

Chandrayaan 2 takes its name from the Sanskrit word for "lunar orbit" that is Chandrayaan.

Chandrayaan-2's speed was trimmed from 2.4 km a second to 2.1 km a second, through commands sent from ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here in Bengaluru as the orbiter-lander-rover moved ever closer to the Moon's orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km. Explaining the landing site, Sivan said, "On September 7, lander Vikram will land at a site which is 71 degrees south of Moon's equator and 32.8 degrees east".

"That was a finger lickin' lift off!" Even the slightest mistake would fail the soft landing planned for September at the station's moon surface. "But still the landing is the terrifying moment... because that is a phase that we are doing for the first time".

India vies to become the fourth country, following the United States, Russia and China, to land on the Moon. "In fact, Nasa has already announced its plan to set up a human habitat in the south pole and is awaiting Chandrayaan-2 inputs" to study the area.

"The success rate of soft landings on the Moon is only about 37%".

ISRO says the mission will help scientists to better understand the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, mineral analyses and a host of other experiments.

It was launched on India's most powerful rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MkIII.

"While there, we will also explore discoveries made by Chandrayaan 1, such as the presence of water molecules on the Moon and new rock types with unique chemical composition", it was stated.

The lander (named Vikram, after the founder of Isro) weighs about half as much, and carries within its belly a 27kg Moon rover with instruments to analyse the lunar soil.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the mission as "an important step in the landmark journey".

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