India’s moon lander Vikaram separates from Chandrayaan-2
Chennai: Indias 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).
According to ISRO, the Vikram Lander is currently located in an orbit of 119 km x 127 km. The Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in its existing orbit.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft comprises three segments — the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander ‘Vikram’ (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover ‘Pragyan’ (27 kg, two payloads).
Vikram also carries Pragyan.
The health of the Orbiter and Lander is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru.
All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter and Lander are healthy.
The Indian space agency said post Vikram’s separation, there will be two de-orbital operations. The first one will be Tuesday between 8.45 a.m. – 9.45 a.m. The second will be on Wednesday between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
The manoeuvres will achieve an orbit around the moon of 36 km x 110 km, ISRO had earlier said.
Vikram is scheduled to land on the south polar region of the moon on September 7 between 1.30 a.m. to 2.30 a.m.
After the moon touchdown by Vikram, the rover — Pragyan — will roll down from it to carry out research for which it was designed.
Even after the separation of Vikram, the Orbiter will continue to fly around the moon.
On July 22, the Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 was launched into the space by India’s heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style.