The second Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully on August 21. This move brings our country closer to accomplishing something that no other country has done before – landing a rover near the south pole of the Moon. The duration of the manoeuvre was 1228 seconds. The orbit achieved is 118 km x 4412 km. ISRO Chairman K Sivan shared first-hand account of this crucial step and said ‘For 30 minutes our heart stopped’! Now, after performing four sets of orbit manoeuvres, Chandrayaan-2 will be primed for its ultimate function, landing the six-wheeled rover, called ‘Pragyaan’, on the Moon. Pragyaan is travelling on board a lander named Vikram which will land on the Moon on September 7.
Major movements for the next few days
• September 1 – By the night of September 1, Chandrayaan-2 will be closest to the Moon
• September 2 – Lander will be separated from orbiter
• September 3 – A three second manoeuvre to ensure systems are normal
• September 4 – A manoeuvre for 6.5 seconds when lander will be out in an orbit of 35 km
• September 7 – D-day as early morning powered descent starts and at 1.55 am it will land at a site
What exactly will happen on September 7?
• 1:55 am: After 15 minutes of a powered descent, Vikram will land on the Moon near the lunar south pole
• 3:55 am: Around two hours after landing, Vikram’s ramp will open, allowing the six-wheeled rover Pragyaan to come out
• 5:05 am: Pragyaan will deploy its solar panels, which will use solar energy to power the many systems on board the rover
• 5:10 am: Pragyaan will begin moving around which is equivalent to two weeks on Earth
• First clear picture will be available about five and half hours after descent
What is manoeuvre?
A movement or series of moves requiring skill and care.