Moon lander separation successful, says ISRO

During the one hour separation window starting 12.45 pm, ‘Vikram’ was separated at 1.15 pm, the ISRO said.

Chandrayaan-2’s lander Vikram detached itself from atop the main spacecraft on Monday afternoon as planned, as it got ready to descend to the moon’s southern surface over the next four days.

The lander carries small six-wheeled rover Pragyan within it; once they reach the lunar surface, the rover will get out of Vikram to physically probe moon.

The D-day for the two is September 7 around 1.55 a.m.

Soon after separation, the lander was in an orbit of 119 km x 127 km around moon. It will start sailing down towards its assigned lunar landing spots after two de-orbits on Tuesday and Wednesday.

No country has soft-landed on the south polar region that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has chosen to explore.

“The lander successfully separated from Chandrayaan-2 orbiter at 1315 Hrs IST today (September 2). All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander are healthy,” it said.

An ISRO update said the main spacecraft continues to orbit moon from the same distance that it reached on Sunday. It will take images and do remote-sensing of moon with its payloads for  a year.

The health of the orbiter and lander is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from the two large antennas of the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bengaluru.

The first de-orbit operation is scheduled between 8.45 a.m. and 9.45 a.m. on Tuesday and is designed to put the lander in a 109 km x 120 km orbit. The second slated for the next day should put it into a 36 km x 110 km orbit, from where it start sailing down towards the moon’s surface.

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