Chandrayaan-2 is now on its way to the moon. The spacecraft is now in Earth’s orbit and will reach the moon on September 7, 2019. Despite the rush, Chandrayaan-2 will take 7 weeks to reach the moon and here’s the reason why.
The launch was initially scheduled for July 15 but it was called off due to a few technical snags. After detecting a problem in the cryogenic stage of the rocket, the launch got cancelled.
After a week’s delay, the mission finally took off from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on 22nd July. To keep up with the old schedule, Chandrayaan-2 will now spend less time rotating the moon than previously planned. The launch mission will now be orbiting the earth’s orbit for 23 days and lunar orbit for 13 days.
The lunar mission will gradually increase its altitude and move away from the Earth’s gravitational pull and enter the lunar orbit. As the lander, Vikram, and the rover, Pragyan, can’t withstand the cold lunar nights the landing is scheduled for September only.
— suman sengar (@sumansengar1) July 22, 2019
The launch vehicle Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III), nicknamed ‘Bahubali’ (strong-armed in Hindi) did a great job in launching Chandrayaan-2 and covering a distance of about 26,000 km. The GSLV Mk III has given Chandrayaan-2 the required velocity to carry its operation and reach the moon.
However, Chandrayaan-2 will still take seven weeks to reach the moon because of a simple reason – cruising speed.
Chandrayaan-2 has three basic components the lander (Vikram), the orbiter, and the rover (Pragyan). Vikram will separate itself from the orbiter and do a free fall towards the moon. As Vikram plans to land on the moon, the orbiter will scan the landing site.
To have a soft landing on the moon, Vikram will follow deboosting procedures. After touching down the moon, the rover will be released too. Pragyan will cover a distance of 500 metres leaving behind the ISRO logo imprints. The three components will spend 14 days on the moon.
If everything works out smoothly, India will become the first country to reach the South pole of the moon.