Bengaluru | India’s Moon mission is one step closer to landing, planned for September 7 at 01:55 am.
The orbit of the Vikram lander, which had separated from the main composite module of Chandrayaan 2 yesterday, was lowered today in a 4-second manoeuvre.
The propulsion system on-board the indigenously developed lander in Chandrayaan was fired for the first time today.
The first de-orbiting manoeuvre of the Vikram lander was performed at 08:50 am and the orbit was reduced to 104×128 km.
The orbiter will remain in the 119×127 km orbit for a year, where it will collect new data and information on the lunar surface.
“Both orbiter and the lander are healthy,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.
The final de-orbiting manoeuvre of the lander is scheduled between 03:30 and 044:30 am tomorrow. The lander would be brought close to a 110×35 orbit in preparation for landing near the South Pole.
“Till the landing is complete, it will be terrifying. Till now, we have not operated the systems on-board the lander, especially the propulsion system. This is the phase, including the powered descent, that we will be doing for the first time. That is why it is critical,” Isro chairperson K Sivan said after the spacecraft entered the lunar orbit.
This mission makes India the fourth country to land on the Moon.