The Journey to Touch the Moon
The 384000 Kilometres and 47-day long journey of Chandrayaan 2 to touch the moon surface ended on early hours of 7th September. And it was the last 15 minutes of the landing of Vikram- the lander played a very crucial role. As during these last minutes the lander has to work on its own without any instruction from scientists from the ground station.
About Vikram – the lander
On September 2, lander Vikram separated from the orbiter and started to move towards reducing its orbit to touch Moon’s unexplored Southpole area. It was carrying a 27kg Moon rover Pragyaan with other instruments to analyze the lunar soil.Vikram was designed to work for 1 lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 earth days.
What happened in the last 15minutes?
During the last 15 minutes of its journey, from an altitude of 35 Kms, the lander Vikram started moving downward ( Descend) towards the moon surface. This distance was to be covered on its own without any control from scientists. This last 15 minutes journey was divided into four phases. The first rough braking phase of 10minutes to reach 7.4kms near the moon, the second phase was the absolute navigation phase to reach 5Kms near. And with the third and fourth phase, it was to reach 100meter near to moon’s surface to make its vertical landing. And it’s during this last phase and in the last one minute when the lander was only 2.1 km far from moon’s surface, its communication signals with the ground station ( With scientists) lost and couldn’t be established again.
With this, the Chandrayaan-2 mission achieved around 95% success in the first attempt.
Orbiter’s life extended to 7.5yrs due to precision.
The orbiter of Chandrayaan 2 was having a mission life of one year, but ISRO Charman, K Sivan informed that due to precise launch and mission management Orbiter can live up to 7.5yrs. Extra fuel onboard due to precise mission management has extended the life of orbiter.
With Orbiter, we can explore a lot about the moon
The orbiter is having the highest resolution camera (0.3m). The high-resolution cameras cover small areas but due to extended life span of 7.5 yrs. , ISRO will be able to map the entire lunar surface. The orbiter making circular movement around the moon’s orbit will send us important information and images.
Isro said the Orbiter would “enrich our understanding of the Moon’s evolution, mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions”.
ISRO is working on time for its other space mission also, therefore as PM Narendra Modi says, the Best is yet to come.
Here is the Video of Chandrayaan 2 Journey