India’s Moon Mission, Chandrayaan-2 has successfully entered the lunar orbit today after nearly 30 days of journey in space. ISRO said today, “Lunar Orbit Insertion maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019) at 0902 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km.”
Yesterday, ISRO Chairman K Sivan had called the step “challenging’. Lunar Orbit Insertion is believed to be one of the trickiest operations in the mission because if the satellite approaches the moon at a higher-than-expected velocity it will bounce off and get lost in deep space. But if it approached at a slow velocity, the Moon’s gravity would pull the Chandrayaan-2 and it might crash into the surface.
If Chandrayaan-2 is successful, India will be the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China. The last nation to attempt a soft landing on the moon, Israel, failed in its attempt earlier this year.