India introduced the country’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan 2, on board of Andhra Pradesh’s most strong rocket in ISRO‘s arsenal, the GSLV-MkIII-M1. The primary objective of the mission was to land a rover in the unexplored southern lunar pole. The spacecraft of 3,850-kg, Rs 978-crore, is a composite of three modules consisting of an orbiter, lander, and rover. The composite will be exposed to a sequence of orbital maneuvers on its scheduled 48-day trip between the lift and landing on the South Pole of the Moon.
“Further major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, Trans Lunar Insertion, Lunar bound manoeuvres, Vikram Separation and Vikram Touch Down,” said the space agency.
Fifth earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvres completed
The Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft’s fifth earth-bound orbit-raising exercise was effectively performed on Tuesday afternoon, as scheduled, verified in a tweet by the Indian Space Research Organization.
The exercise was executed at 3.04 pm IST using the onboard propulsion system for a firing time of 1041 seconds (~17 minutes), four days after completion of the fourth orbit-raising, positioning the spacecraft in an orbit of 276x 142975 km (nearestx furthest Earth-bound altitude), as per ISRO. The final orbit acquired after the fourth orbit-raising by the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft is 277x 89472 km.
ISRO also stated that all parameters of the spacecraft were normal. The next stage will be the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) scheduled at 3:00 pm-4:00 pm IST for the evening of 14 August.
The TLI is a thrust exercise used to set the moon-bound route of the spacecraft. After this, it will take less than a week for the Chandrayaan 2 composite to arrive near the moon. This operation places the spacecraft on a 266x 4,13,623 orbit that ends at the next mission point: lunar transfer.
So What's next?
According to the schedule of ISRO, on 7 September, the Vikram lander will attempt a soft landing on the moon and open its hatch for the Pragyan rover four hours later to take its first rolls on the lunar soil. The mission’s landing site is nearer to the South Pole than any previous mission.
ISRO has called the mission its most prestigious and complicated mission ever. If it succeeds, Chandrayaan 2 will push India to the elite list of four countries that have pulled off a soft-landing on the moon (including Russia, the US and China).
Students can watch Chandrayaan 2 Moon Landing with PM Modi
The Prime Minister has always been very passionate about the scientific missions of the country. He was present when the GSLV mark III rocket started the spacecraft and was also watching the live lift-off Chandrayaan2 . He was also present when Mangalyaan was sent into Mars orbit.
For some of the country’s students, ISRO decided to create Chandrayaan II Moon landing even more special. The Space Agency has revealed it will conduct an online quiz to increase awareness about its space programs.
Those who win this quiz will have the opportunity to watch from the ITS Bengaluru Center with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the spacecraft of the Moon Mission makes a soft landing on the lunar surface.
Any Indian student in classes 8 to 10 will be qualified to participate in the quiz on mygov.in. It will be started on 10 August and will be available until 20 August for engagement.
The contestants will have five minutes to answer 20 questions randomly selected from a question bank.
The two top students who provide as many right answers as possible will be able to experience history in conjunction with the Prime Minister. If several candidates clock in the same amount of right responses, they will choose those who have taken the least time to finish the test. If a tie still exists, the winner will be declared by a randomizer.
Earth as viewed by Chandrayaan 2
ISRO released some pictures of Earth by Chandrayaan2 LI4 Camera on August 3, 2019 17:28 UT. ISRO shared these photos on Twitter.
Here’s a video by ISRO that has a collection of images.