After nearly 30 days of journey, India’s second spacecraft to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit on Tuesday morning, the Indian space agency said.
However, it was one of the tricky operations in the mission because if the satellite approached the Moon at a higher-than-expected velocity it would have bounced off into deep space. After successful insertion into the lunar orbit, ISRO will carry out four more orbit maneuvers (August 21, 28, 30 and September 1) to enter it into its final orbit.
Subsequently, the Vikram lander would separate from the orbiter on September 2, 2019. Two orbit maneuvers would be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7, 2019, ISRO said.
Chandrayaan-2, launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after final orbit raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft was successfully carried out.
This mission would shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon, its South Pole. If successful, the mission will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China. The last nation to attempt a soft landing on the Moon, Israel, failed in its earlier this year.