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Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander sets course for Moon's South Pole

The required orbit for the Vikram Lander to commence its descent towards the surface of the Moon has been achieved. The landing of Vikram lander will be followed by the 'Pragyan' Rover roll out, from inside it, between 5.30 am to 6.30 am. 

Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander sets course for Moon's South Pole
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Chandrayaan-2 is on a mission unlike any before. India's second lunar expedition is all set to shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon--its South Polar region. The crucial soft landing of 'Vikram', Chandrayaan-2's moon lander, is scheduled to powered descent between 1 am to 2 am (IST) on Saturday, followed by the touch down of Lander between 1.30 am to 2.30 am (IST).

The required orbit for the Vikram Lander to commence its descent towards the surface of the Moon has been achieved. The landing of Vikram lander will be followed by the 'Pragyan' Rover roll out, from inside it, between 5.30 am to 6.30 am. ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan is also scheduled to address a press conference between 8.00 am to 9.00 am.

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The rover will carry out experiments on Lunar surface for a period of 1 Lunar day which is equal to 14 Earth days. The Orbiter will continue its mission for a duration of one year.

Ahead of the touchdown, the ISRO explained through a video how it will take place.

The first de-orbiting manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully on September 3 at 8.50 am (IST) and the duration was four seconds. The second de-orbiting manoeuvre took place on September 4 beginning at 3.42 am (IST) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was nine seconds.

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. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Bengaluru to witness live the historic moment for India. He will arrive in Bengaluru on Friday and will view the landing at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) near Peenya. Nearly 60- 70 students from across the nation will witness the event with PM Modi.

India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV MkIII-M1) successfully launched Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft at 2.43 pm (IST) on July 22, 2019, into its planned orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.7 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 45,475 km. The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota. After the injection of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, a series of manoeuvres were carried out to raise its orbit and put Chandrayaan-2 on Lunar Transfer Trajectory.

Chandrayaan-2 will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface. This mission will make India, the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to carry out a soft landing on the moon.