Chandrayaan-2: Vikram-Pragyan get even closer to Moon

Chandrayaan-2: Vikram-Pragyan get even closer to Moon

Isro, on Wednesday (September 4) took theChandrayaan-2landing module — comprising lander Vikram and rover Pragyan — closer to Moon, putting it in a35kmX101km Orbit.

“The second de-orbiting maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully beginning at 3.42am as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was 9 seconds,” Isro said.

With this maneuver, the required orbit for Vikram (with Pragyan inside) to commence its descent towards the surface of Moon is achieved.

Vikram is scheduled to powered descent between 1am and 2am on September 07, which is then followed by touch down of Lander between 1.30am and 2.30am.

On Tuesday (September 3), operating independently for the first time since Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, the landing module underwent its first manoeuvre around Moon on Tuesday.

Isro successfully completed the first de-orbiting manoeuvre of the landing module at 8.50am Tuesday (September 3), using for the first time, the propulsion systems on Vikram. All these days all operations were carried out by systems on the orbiter, from which the landing module separated at 1.15pm Monday.

Further, Isro also carried out another manoeuvre of the orbiter on Tuesday, which the space agency did not officially announce. Sources said that the orbiter’s orbit was further reduced after a 36-second burn of the onboard propulsion systems. The orbiter reduced the distance closest to Moon to reach an orbit where the perigee was 96km.

“This was done so that the orbiter is right on the head of the lander when the landing happens,” a source added. Vikram is expected to touchdown on the lunar surface between 1.30am and 2.30am on September 7. Isro had announced that it would be at 1.55am. “We are looking at starting the powered descent at 1.40am or 1.45am. The landing must happen 15 minutes after that,” Sivan explained.

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