India's Chandrayaan-2 Spacecraft Enters Lunar Orbit

Sriharikota India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh Monday

Chandrayaan-2 successfully enters Moon’s orbit

The success rate of landing on the moon is only 37%, ISRO chairman Dr. K. Sivan said in a news conference.

India intends to become the fourth nation after Russia, China, and the USA to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered into an elliptical orbit around the moon on Tuesday as India officially "reached the moon" for the second time, 11 years after its first mission that discovered water on the lunar surface. "Lander Vikram will soft land on Moon on September 7, 2019", tweeted the Indian Space Research Organisation. "The onboard systems will image the surface and decide where to land", Sivan said.

That means it's on schedule to touch down on the lunar surface on September 7, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Over the course of next three days, Isro will keep monitoring the functioning of the Lander.

It will compare these images with the simulated image that it has carried from Earth to ascertain the exact landing spot.

At 5.45 am IST on 7 September, 3 hours and 50 mins after landing, the rover will be released. The Lander would have to decrease its velocity from 6km/second to zero in a controlled, but autonomous manner.

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.

Lunar dust is another major concern as it could cover the Lander and impair its functions.

Once the landing spot is identified, Vikram will use its four thrusters along with a central engine to attempt the soft landing on the Moon. This way, the plumes of dust would not cover the Lander and it can land smoothly.

Sivan also stated that an invitation has been extended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to witness the landing of Chandrayaan 2, however, a confirmation is awaited. "Today's lunar orbit insertion we have already done once, whereas the hover's descent, that will be a first for us and we may face difficulty there", explained Dr K Sivan.

However, ISRO was confident about the soft-landing.

"We have done enough tests, simulations, sub-systems, systems, sensor level. hatever humanly possible, we did", he added.

"The tension increased", said Dr Sivan, when asked about the moments leading up to and after the insertion into the orbit. The world over, countries, companies and even individuals are turning to the Moon - vying each other to fly their flags on lunar South Pole.

A rover will study permanently shadowed moon craters that are thought to contain 100 million tons of water, deposits that were confirmed by India's Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008.

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