Bengaluru: A day after launching the country’s second moon mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday said the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is in “good health” and moving in the “right direction”.
India had on Monday launched Chandrayaan-2 on-board its powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with the aim of landing a rover in the unexplored lunar south pole. The 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2, a three-module spacecraft comprising orbiter, lander and rover, has been injected into the earth’s orbit. It will be subjected to a series of orbit maneuver in the coming weeks to take it to the vicinity of moon, with the rover soft landing planned on 7 September.
“The Chandrayaan-2 is in good health. There is no doubt about it. It is moving in the right direction,” an official of the Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO said. He said at present, no updates on the mission have been made because there is no need for it at this juncture. “However, there is a little milestone which we will not reveal now, but will update when the right time comes,” the official said.
In a giant leap for the country’s ambitious low-cost space programme, ISRO has undertaken the most complex and its prestigious mission ever aiming to land the rover on the moon. If successful, it will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon.
The ISRO is aiming for a soft landing of the lander (spacecraft) in the South Pole region of the moon where no country has gone so far. Immediately after Chandrayaan-2’s separation from the rocket, the solar array of the spacecraft automatically got deployed and the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru successfully took control of the spacecraft, the ISRO has said.