At The Moon- India’s Lunar Lander Vikram-Pragyan Seperate From Chandrayaan-2 Spacecraft

India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft at the moon successfully completed its fifth and final lunar orbit maneuver that lasted for 52 seconds on Sept. 1 at 8:51 a.m. EDT (1821 IST/1251 GMT), setting the stage for the release of the country’s first lunar lander.

“All spacecraft parameters are normal,” the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said in an update after refining the orbit to a circular path that is 74 -79 miles  i.e. 119-127 kilometers above the lunar surface.

Today, ISRO flawlessly carried out the operation of separating the Landing module Vikram from the orbiter. Vikram lander which also holds the lunar rover Pragyaan, successfully separated from the Chandrayaan2 orbiter at 1315 hrs. IST

All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander were reported healthy by ISRO.

Vikram is now scheduled for two de-orbit maneuvers to prepare for its Lunar touchdown in the south polar region of the moon.

According to the ISRO, the tentative plan for future operations after today’s maneuver Chandrayaan-2 is as follows.

Deorbit 1: Monday, Sept. 2

11:30 p.m. EDT (0330 Sept. 3 GMT), 09:00 – 10:00 Tuesday, Sept. 3 IST.

Orbit target: 109 x 120 kilometers

Deorbit 2: Tuesday, Sept. 3

5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT), 03:00 – 04:00, Wednesday, Sept. 4 IST.

Orbit target: 36 x 110 kilometers

Powered Descent: Friday, Sept. 6 (Sept. 7 IST)

Vikram Touchdown: Friday, Sept. 6

4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT),  01:30 – 02:30 Saturday, Sept. 6 IST

The Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 is named after Vikram A. Sarabhai, referred to as the father of the Indian space program. It is designed to function for one lunar day that is about 14 Earth days. This separation has made the landing module independent for the first time since its integration on the top of the orbiter that was launched on  July 22.  The Pragyan lunar rover packed aboard Vikram will be deployed once the lander touches down on the moon.

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