Chennai: India's first moon lander Vikram successfully separated from its mother spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 on Monday at 1.15 a.m., said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The second de-orbiting manoeuvre will be carried out on September 4, between 3:30 PM-4:30 PM IST, before Chandryaan-2 makes its landing on the Moon, which it is scheduled for September 7.
So far, all the manoeuvres of the Chandrayaan 2 composite module (the orbiter, lander, nd rover) were carried out using the propulsion system of the orbiter.
The Vikram lander's next two maneuvers are scheduled to be completed tomorrow (September 03). The effort is to soft-land the lander in the South polar region of the Moon between two craters - Manzinus C and Simpelius N - on September 7, 2019. "Not just NASA, but the whole world would be interested in knowing about the moon and the universe by following Chandrayaan-2", he said. Right now, the orbiter and the lander are circling in this class. It helped the Lander to arrive at a 104 by 128 kilometres orbit around the moon. This is the phase, including the powered descent, that we will be doing for the first time. During the separation, the Lander also acquired nearly the same orbit of the mother-craft.
The mission took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22 and is expected to land on September 7.
Chandrayaan 2 will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface.
A successful mission will make India the fourth country after Russian Federation, the U.S. and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon. This will be crucial as an uneven landing site could tilt the lander and make the rolling out of the rover hard, which in turn could jeopardise the mission.
After the moon touchdown by Vikram, the rover - Pragyan - will roll down from the former to carry out the research for which it was designed.
The first de-orbiting maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today, September 03, 2019.