Chandrayaan-2 is now only seven days away from its historic touchdown on the moon
Chandrayaan 2's lunar lander, Vikram, has successfully detached from the spacecraft and is on its way to the Moon's South Pole after a month of flying through space and just six days to landing, Chandrayaan 2 makes one last orbit around the moon. India is the first country in the world to attempt a soft landing in the South polar region of the Moon and the fourth in the world to soft land on the lunar surface.
The orbiter will circle the Moon and Vikram descends towards the lunar surface with Pragyan, the lunar rover, on board and Vikram will attempt a soft landing on the Moon on 7 September 2019. India's lunar mission was off to a rocky start but now it's approaching its moment of truth.
Vikram Lander Successfully separates from #Chandrayaan2 Orbiter today (September 02, 2019) at 1315 hrs IST.
Vikram, named after Vikram A Sarabhai - the father of the Indian Space Programme - is designed to collect data for 14 days and execute a soft landing on the Moon. Chandrayaan 2's orbiter will remain in orbit around the Moon and help Vikram navigate, as it attempts the land in one of the most cratered regions on the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-2 is now only seven days away from its historic touchdown on the moon, after it successfully completed its penultimate lunar manoeuvre, on Friday evening.
In its latest update, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) stated that the spacecraft has officially gone further than its predecessor, Chandrayaan-1 launched eleven years ago in October 2008. At around 6:18 pm, scientists powered the spacecraft using the onboard propulsion system for 1155 seconds and put it into an orbit of 124x 164 kms.
"Chandrayaan-2 to Mission Control- Four done, one to go", tweeted ISRO post the maneuver. The next and last lunar bound maneuvre would be performed on September 1, when scientists would further lower the spacecraft in a near-circular orbit which would be roughly 100 kms from the lunar surface. This is where the orbiter would finally settle and start its year-long exploration of the lunar exosphere and surface.
The lander's attempt to soft land the lunar surface will be the "15 most terrifying minutes" for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), according to the Chairman K Sivan.
Lastly, the lander also has the Pragyan, the rover, on board. Pragyan will roll off the lander once it sets down between two of the Moon's craters - Manzinus C and Simplelius N - on 7 September 2019.
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