Indian Chandrayaan-2 takes first image of moon


NEW DELHI, Aug 22, 2019 (BSS) – Chandrayaan 2, the Indian second mission to the moon, has sent its first image of the moon as it entered the lunar orbit earlier this week, according to an Indian Space agency ISRO.

The image of the moon captured by the Vikram Lander was taken at a height of about 2650 km from lunar surface yesterday, ISRO tweeted today.

The image shows two significant landmarks on the moon, the Applo crater and the Orientale basin, it said.

The crucial process of taking up soft landing of the lander ‘Vikram’ onboard the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will be taken up in the early hours of September 7, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said today.

Chandrayaan-2, the India’s most powerful rocket GSLV MkIII-M1, had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14, leaving the Earth orbit.

After this, the scientists will perform four more manoeuvres to reduce the orbit of the spacecraft around the moon to a circular nearly 100x100km orbit.

The manoeuvers will take place on August 21, August 28, August 30, and September 1, according to ISRO scientists.

In the final orbit, the orbiter will continue revolving around the moon, collecting data for a year.

The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will separate out of the orbiter on September 2, after which two more manoeuvres will bring it closer to the lunar surface before it starts its powered descent on Day 48 after the launch.

It comprises an Orbiter, Lander (Vikram), named after the father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, and Rover (Pragyan).

The rover is set to make the soft landing on the Moon on September 7 and if successful the mission would make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve the feat.

Chandrayaan 2, the India’s ambitious 1000 crore rupee moon mission, lifted off on July 22 onboard ISRO’S most powerful launcher, the 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), from the country’s only launch site Satish Dhawan Space Centre.