STATE TIMES NEWSBengaluru: Joining the nation on its mission moon, a success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that its manifest the best of Indian talent and spirit of tenacity. “Its success will benefit crores of Indians,” he said in a series of tweets. Hours before the “historic” event, Prime Minister Modi in a series of tweets said, “The moment 130 crore Indians were enthusiastically waiting for is here! In a few hours from now, the final descent of Chandrayaan-2 will take place on the Lunar South Pole. India, and the rest of the world will yet again see the exemplary prowess of our space scientists.” The 1,471-kg ‘Vikram’, named after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, father of the Indian space programme, is designed to execute a soft-landing on the lunar surface, and to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 earth days. Chandrayaan-2’s 27-kg robotic vehicle ‘Pragyan’, which translates to ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, can travel up to 500 metres from the landing spot on the Moon and leverages solar energy for its functioning. “The lander carries three scientific payloads to conduct surface and sub-surface science experiments, while the rover carries two payloads to enhance our understanding of the lunar surface,” according to ISRO. ‘Vikram’ will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to soft-land in the South polar region of the Moon between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, on September 7. A few hours later, the rover will roll down from ‘Vikram’ and will explore the surrounding lunar terrain. Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 venture launched more than a decade ago, comprises an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan). The mission life of the orbiter will be one year while that of the lander and rover will be one lunar day which is equal to 14 earth days. It has made India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to achieve a soft landing on the moon, and the first to launch a mission to the unexplored south polar region.
The Chandrayaan-2 is a Rs 978 crore unmanned moon mission (satellite cost Rs 603 crore, GSLV MK III cost Rs 375 crore).
India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into Earth’s orbit on July 22.
The spacecraft began its journey towards the moon leaving the earth’s orbit in the dark hours on August 14, after a crucial manoeuvre called Trans Lunar Insertion that was carried out by ISRO to place the spacecraft on “Lunar Transfer Trajectory.”
The spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre.
On September 2, ‘Vikram’ successfully separated from the orbiter, following which two de-orbiting manoeuvres were performed to bring the lander closer to the Moon.
The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex at ISTRAC here with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru.
The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon, according to ISRO officials.
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