“Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019) at 0902 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was 1738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km,” Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said in a statement.
Now that Chandrayaan-2 has completed its expedition to Moon, it is just days away from the Moon landing, which will put Isro in an established club of nations—the US, USSR (now Russia) and China—to have successfully landed probes on the lunar surface.
The project, which has cost India Rs 978 crore, has seen an extensive contribution from institutions from around the country. “Nearly 500 universities and 120 industries have played a role in GSLV MkIII and Chandrayaan-2 respectively. And, 80% and 60% of the cost has gone to these,” Isro chief Sivan had said.
One part of the mission which is to reach the moon’s orbit has already been completed by Chandrayaan 1 in 2008. Chandrayan 2 mainly focuses on landing it’s rover “Vikram” on the surface of the moon.
Now that LOI is achieved, Isro will execute four more operations—on August 21, 28, 30 and September 1—to take the spacecraft to lower orbits and eventually make it settle in a 100kmX100km orbit, where it will spend the rest of its life.
“The mission is mainly to make use of space tech to help the common man lead a better life and to ensure safety, security and quality. Cyclone predictions, broadband to rural India et al are just examples of how the common man is linked with space tech. But along with this we are also looking at space science,” Sivan had said.