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Chandrayaan-2: Journey so far

Chandrayaan-2 will be searching for water on the lunar surface with 15 crucial manoeuvres to take place in the next one and a half months as it lands on the Moon.

India made history: The launch of Chandrayaan-2

India made history on July 22 when its low-cost moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2, lifted off successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota. 

Almost the entire Chandrayaan-2's orbiter, lander, and rover have been designed and made in India.

India used its most powerful rocket launcher, GSLV Mk-III, to carry the 2.4-tonne orbiter, which has a mission life of about a year.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Successful manoeuvres for Chandryaan-2

The first earthbound orbit-raising manoeuvre for Chandryaan-2 spacecraft had been performed successfully on July 24, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The manoeuvre was performed at 2:52 pm as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 57 seconds.

The second earthbound orbit-raising manoeuvre for Chandryaan-2 spacecraft had also been performed successfully on July 26, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

(Photograph:AFP)

First set of images of Earth by Chandrayaan-2

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on August 4 shared the first set of images of the Earth as viewed by Chandrayaan-2.
 

(Image courtesy: @isro)

(Photograph:Twitter)

Entered Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14

Chandrayaan-2 headed onwards on its path to the moon after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully carried out a crucial process to manoeuvre India's second lunar probe out of the earth's orbit. 

The space agency said as planned it carried out the manoeuvre called Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) at 2:21 am on August 14. 

After it was launched on July 22, the spacecraft's orbit was progressively increased five times from July 23 to August 6. 

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20. The spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired again to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit.

(Photograph:AFP)

Successfully enters the moon's orbit

It successfully completed Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre on August 20 at 9:02am.

With this, Chandrayaan-2 successfully inserted into the moon's orbit. ISRO also informed that all the systems of Chandrayaan-2 are healthy.

Once it's in lunar orbit 100 kilometres above the surface, the spacecraft will send a lander on a controlled descent to the surface.

The lander will then release a six-wheeled solar-powered rover that will cover about 200 meters of lunar territory.
 

(Photograph:Reuters)

India's second lunar mission

It is India's second lunar mission after the grand success of Chandrayaan-1. 

ISRO has planned the mission as a tribute to the pioneer of the Indian space programme Vikram Sarabhai.

Chandrayaan-2 comes 10 years after ISRO launched its first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, in 2009. 

The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor but didn't include a rover like Chandrayaan-2.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Improved understanding of Moon

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on its website has described Chandrayaan-2 an Indian lunar mission "that will boldly go where no country has ever gone before the Moon's south polar region," with an aim to "to improve our understanding of the Moon".
 

(Photograph:ANI)

What Chandrayaan-2 will try to accomplish

The satellite cost India 603 crore. Chandrayaan-2 will be searching for water on the lunar surface with 15 crucial manoeuvres to take place in the next one and a half months as it lands on the Moon.

The ISRO chief said the landing site, at about 70 degrees south latitude, is the southernmost for any mission to date. No country has attempted this before.

The spacecraft carried the 1.4-tonne lander Vikram - which in turn is taking the 27-kilogramme (60-pound) rover Pragyan - to a high plain between two craters on the lunar South Pole when it lands on the moon on September 2019.
 

(Photograph:AFP)