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National News

Sep 02, 2019

Chandrayaan-2 crosses yet another milestone

India’s ambitious second lunar expedition Chandrayaan-2 has crossed yet another very significant milestone this afternoon, with the successful separation of the Lander Vikram from its Orbiter. 

In a swift action, the scientists of the national space agency, ISRO carried out the surgical action at 13.15 hrs and detached the Lander from its mothercraft, the Orbiter. 

The operation got over in just a few milliseconds, by cutting the umbilical cord of the Lander with the mothercraft. An ISRO release says, all the systems of both the Orbiter and the Lander of Chandrayaan-2 remain healthy.

With the successful separation today, the focus has now shifted to navigating the lander module to the lunar South Pole. 

The separated module consists of the lander Vikram and the rover Pragyaan, which are in an integrated form. The ISRO has planned two de-orbit manoeuvres, one between 8.45 and 9.45 am tomorrow and the other in the evening day-after-tomorrow. 

De-orbiting is aimed at nudging the lander directly towards the lunar surface, so that it can have a gentle touch down near its the South Pole on September 7.

The Lander Vikram has been named in honour of the Father of Indian Space Programmes Dr Vikram Sarabhai. The name also means valour, as it is aiming for a territory on the moon where no probe has gone before. 

It houses in its belly the rover Pragyan, which it will unleash just hours after reaching its final destination, the lunar South Pole.

The Lander Vikram weighs nearly 1.5 tons and has the capacity to generate 650-watt power using its solar panels. It has three payloads, including the instrument for studying the lunar seismic activity. 

The moon’s thermal conductivity will be observed using the “Chandra’s Surface Thermo-Physical experimental device” on the lander. The Langmuir Probe atop it will conduct ionosphere studies on the lunar surface, as said by the ISRO in its earlier release.

The mission life of the Lander and the Rover is a lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 days on the earth. 

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today congratulated team ISRO for achieving another milestone.

In a tweet, Mr Naidu said, India moves a step closer to create history. He said the nation is waiting to watch its soft landing on the South Pole of the moon on 7th of September.

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