Indian Spaceship Chandrayaan 2 Launched in Moon’s Orbit
Ticking another key milestone in its list of achievements, India’s Chandrayaan 2 spaceship launched itself in lunar orbit on August 20. With an engine burn that began on Aug 19 at 9:02 am local time, the orbital insertion completed successfully.
The burn continued for nearly 1,738 seconds which is approximately 29 minutes. Recently, ISRO tweeted that the duration of the manoeuvre was 1738 seconds beginning from 0902 hrs IST.
The spacecraft was launched on July 22, 2019. As stated in the previous reports by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the mission was successful and is currently on track to set the lander early in September.
Chandrayaan 2 takes its name from the Sanskrit word for “lunar orbit” that is Chandrayaan. It was launched on the top of an Indian GSLV MK-III rocket. The payload included three space craft – a vehicle designed to orbit around the Moon, a rover called Pragyan and a lander called Vikram. The orbiter will be left in space and the lander will carry the rover down to the lunar surface for a closer look at the Moon.
Till the point it reaches a distance of 62 miles, Chandrayaan 2 will continue circling the moon in a tighter orbit. It is planned that the spacecraft will land in the south polar region of the moon on September 7, when the lander will separate from the orbiter and use rocket fuel to brake.
With this successful mission, India has become the fourth country to launch a spacecraft intact on the Moon. Prior to this, United States, Russia and China have landed their vehicles on the Moon.
The mission is unique in itself because of the place where the spacecraft is supposed to land, which is the south pole of the Moon. This part of the Moon is unexplored as yet but there are speculations of a good amount of ice on this portion.
Regarding the landing in the lunar orbit, K Sivan, Head of ISRO, said that the altitude and speed of the craft had to be “just right” as ”even a small error would have killed the mission”. He added, “Our heartbeats increased… for 30 minutes, our hearts almost stopped.”
The mission was led by two ladies – MuthyyaVanitha, the project director and RituKaridhal, the mission director – who put in all the efforts to make it a sure success. They have been working with ISRO for nearly 20 years now. Their experience and dedication made Chandrayaan 2 enter the lunar orbit at the right time.
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