Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram undergoes first of 2 ‘de-orbiting’ manoeuvres

This readies it for Saturday’s touchdown on the Moon.

Updated - September 03, 2019 04:54 pm IST

Published - September 03, 2019 10:18 am IST - Bengaluru

An illustration of Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram. Photo: ISRO

An illustration of Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram. Photo: ISRO

Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram underwent the first of two ‘de-orbiting’ manoeuvres on Tuesday morning.

The four-second operation performed from ISRO’s Bengaluru control centre slightly trimmed the lander’s orbit towards its destination. This readies it for Saturday’s touchdown on the Moon. 

Vikram now goes around in a slightly shorter orbit at a distance of 104 km x 128 km from the Moon.

On Monday afternoon, Vikram, carrying a rover within, broke free as planned from atop the main Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft (which continues to orbit the Moon on its own.) 

An ISRO update said, “The first de-orbiting manoeuvre was performed successfully today [September 3] beginning at 0850 hrs IST as planned using the onboard propulsion system. Both the orbiter and the lander are healthy.”

The next orbit-cutting manoeuvre is marked for September 4 between 3.30 and 4.30 a.m.


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