The World witnessed one of the historical moments on July 22, 2019, with the launch of Chandrayaan – 2. ISRO’s moon mission ‘Chandrayaan- 2’ lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andra Pradesh at 2.43 p.m.
India will be the fourth country to soft-land on the lunar surface after Russia, the United States and China. This was the second attempt as the launch slated on July 15 got aborted due to technical glitches. The mission launched onboard with GSLV-Mk III rocket nicknamed ‘Bahubali’. The Rs.978-crore Chandrayaan – 2 will travel through a planned orbit phase.
Chandrayaan- 2’s Key Objectives:
- Show the ability of soft-landing on the surface of the Moon and to operate a rover on the surface.
- To identify more evidence of minerals, and indicator of hydroxyl and water molecules.
- To find clues about the Moon’s evolution. The elements on the Moon and map its topography through high-resolution pictures.
Chandrayaan-2 will take 48 days to complete the task and land near the south pole of the Moon on September 7, 2019.
Chandrayaan-2’s Journey after the blast:
- About 16 minutes after the lift-off the GSLV -Mk III will inject Chandrayaan-2 into 170 x 40400 km Earth’s orbit. Then onward, the mission will witness a series of manoeuvres to leave the Earth’s orbit.
- The spacecraft will be in Earth-bound phase for the first 17 days from lift-off, before its orbit raised to over 1.05 lakh km.
- It will be then pushed into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory, taking it to the proximity of Moon in the next two days.
- Over the next few days, it will be brought to 100 X 100 km circular orbit when the lander will separate.
- After a few days of orbiting, it will make a soft landing at high latitude areas near the south pole.
The Orbiter part of the mission is planned to last one year. The rover will be deployed using a ramp shortly after the landing. It is scheduled for 14-15 days that is one period of lunar daylight.
Current status of Chandrayaan – 2
According to ISRO’s tweet, Chandrayaan – 2 has completed the third of five earthbound orbit-raising manoeuvres on Monday afternoon. The movement was carried out at 3.12 p.m IST using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 16 minutes.
The mission is progressing as per the plan, as the third orbit- raising is completed two days after the second orbit – raising.
The fourth orbit-raising is scheduled on August 2 at 2 – 3 p.m IST. ISRO also reported that all the spacecraft parameter was normal.
Scientist aims to expand India’s footprint in the space with the help of Chandrayaan-2. Moon mission will study the unexplored southern pole region of Moon and space.