A day after the first de-orbital manoeuvre, India’s Chandrayaan-2 has successfully completed the second and final de-orbiting stage during the wee hours on Wednesday.
In a press release by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on September 4, the space agency confirmed that the spacecraft completed the operation in nine seconds, sticking to set schedule.
The second de-orbiting task aided by onboard propulsion system began at 3:42 am on Wednesday morning, it added.
With the final de-orbital manoeuvre, Chandrayaan-2 has achieved the necessary orbital distance to start the descent of its lunar lander.
According to ISRO, the spacecraft is orbiting the moon at a perigee of 96 km and apogee of 125 km, while the moon lander Vikram is at an orbit of 35 km x 101 km.
Earlier on September 2, the moon lander had detached from its mother spacecraft.
Chandrayaan-2 is expected to land the lunar lander at the far-end south polar region of the moon on September 7.
The touchdown is scheduled to happen between 1.30 and 2.30 IST on the set date.
Pragyan, the moon rover carried by the lander Vikram will be detached from the latter after the touchdown. The lunar rover is designed to conduct research of moon’s surface.
Pragyan will study the lunar surface for 14 Earth days which equals to 1 day on the moon.
On July 22, India launched one of its most sophisticated space project so far, Chandrayaan-2 under ISRO’s leadership.
The space agency’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III heavy-lift rocket carried the operation of launching the 3,840 kg Chandrayaan-2 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
The spacecraft remained in the Earth’s orbit for twenty-three days before shifting on to Moon’s orbit on August 14.