September 19, 2019
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India's Chandrayaan-2 enters Lunar orbit successfully

New Delhi, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-2, an ambitious project that seeks to explore the unchartered south pole of the Moon, entered the lunar orbit successfully on Tuesday, a month after its launch.

It is expected to land on Sept. 7.

The insertion of Chandrayaan-2 in the lunar orbit was successful on Tuesday at 9.20 am (3.50 GMT) after a 1,738 seconds long maneuver, the Indian Space Research Organization said.

ISRO said that a series of orbit maneuvers will be carried out, "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."

"The Chandrayaan 2 is going around the moon with an inclination of 88 degrees. In due course, this orbit will be brought down and at that time the inclination will achieve 90 degrees," ISRO chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan told the media.

On Sep.2 the lander is expected to be separated from the orbiter to enter into a 100 kilometer by 30-kilometer orbit around the moon.

This is to be followed by a series of deceleration maneuvers to make a soft landing on the South polar region of the moon.

"On September 7, the lander will land on the moon," Sivan said.

The spacecraft is under continuous observation from the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO in the southern Indian state of Bangalore and, "all the systems of Chandrayaan-2 are healthy."

This is India's second lunar mission after Chandrayaan-1 in 2008.

The mission seeks to explore the south pole of the Moon and discover more about the mineral composition of the lunar surface and explore any presence of water.

The landing of the spacecraft, if successful, will make India the fourth nation joining an elite club after the former Soviet Union, the United States and China who have made a soft touchdown on the south pole of the Moon.

India, with one of the world's most active space programs, started putting satellites into orbit around Earth in 1999. EFE-EPA

igr/sk/ch

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