BENGALURU: Chandrayaan- 2 is all set to make the historic landing near the lunar south pole in the wee hours of Saturday. The second and final de-orbiting manoeuvre on Chandrayaan-2’s lander Vikran was performed successfully on Wednesday, beginning at 3.42 am for a 9-second duration.
The orbit of Vikram Lander is 35 km x 101 km. Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in an orbit of 96 km x 125 km and both the Orbiter and Lander are healthy.
With this manoeuvre the required orbit for the Vikram Lander to commence it descent towards the surface of the Moon has been achieved.
The Lander is now scheduled for a powered descent between 1 am and 2 am on September 7, followed by the touchdown of lander Vikram between 1.30 am and 2.30 am.
It will take about 15 minutes for the lander to touch down on the lunar surface, to record a historic first.
ISRO scientists said as the lander approaches the lunar surface, it will begin imaging the landing site to find a safe and hazard-free zone to touch down. This will be crucial as an uneven landing site could tilt the lander and make the rolling out of the rover difficult, which in turn could jeopardise the mission.
After a successful landing the rover will roll out to carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of 1 Lunar day, equal to 14 earth days, while the Orbiter will continue its mission for a duration of one year. The lander will remain static at the landing location, and will relay data of the rover and its own to the orbiter, which in turn will relay it to the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) located at Bylalu, near Bengaluru.