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Our hearts stopped, says ISRO chief as Chandrayaan-2 enters lunar orbit

Post the successful insertion, the officials rejoiced and greeted each other on an exceptional feat, which ISRO Chief K Sivan explained as something that held them speechless and spellbound for minutes.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: September 03, 2019 15:47 IST
The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on
Image Source :

The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on Wednesday between 12.30-1.30 pm.

The Indian space agency on Tuesday completed successfully the crucial orbit manoeuvre and put the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the lunar orbit.

Post the successful insertion, the officials rejoiced and greeted each other on an exceptional feat, which ISRO Chief K Sivan explained as something that held them speechless and spellbound for minutes.

"The moments leading up to the insertion were terrifying. Our hearts almost stopped in anticipation," the ISRO chief said, while addressing a press conference.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) was completed successfully at 9.02 am as planned using the onboard propulsion system. All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 are healthy.

"The duration of manoeuvre was 1,738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114km X 18,072km," the ISRO had earlier said.

"It was tense 30 minute operation. The tension and anxiety kept on building as the clock ticked. It was a great relief and joy when the Chandrayaan-2 was put into the lunar orbit successfully," Sivan told IANS soon after the crucial operation.

"We are visiting the moon once again," he added.

Following this, a series of orbit manoeuvres will be performed on Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon's surface.

Subsequently, the lander -- Vikram -- will separate from the Orbiter and enter into a 100km X 30km orbit around the Moon.

"Then, it will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to soft land in the South Polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019," ISRO chief Sivan added.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near the Karnataka capital. 

The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on Wednesday between 12.30-1.30 pm.

On July 22, the Chandrayaan-2 was injected into an elliptical orbit of 170X45,475 km by India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style.

The spacecraft comprises three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).

The Indian space agency said the major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, the trans-lunar insertion, lunar-bound manoeuvres, Vikram's separation from Chandrayaan-2 and touch down on the Moon's South Pole.

India's first moon mission -- Chandrayaan-1 -- was in 2008.

Around 200 officials were assembled at the ISRO centre.

(with inputs from agencies)

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