The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that its Chandrayaan-2 mission has successfully entered Lunar orbit. The Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvrer was started today at 09:02 IST and lasted for 28 minutes and 58 seconds. Following this step, ISRO will conduct a series of orbit manoeuvres so that the spacecraft can enter its final orbit, 100 km from the Moon’s surface, passing over the poles.
Once ISRO is ready, the lander will separate from the orbiter and perform a soft landing in the south polar region of the Moon on September 7. The soft landing will require ISRO to perform several “complex braking” manoeuvres.
Overall, the mission consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. The Pragyan rover, as it is called, will leave the lander once the latter reaches the surface, and will conduct experiments for 14 Earth days (1 Lunar day). The results from the rover’s testing will be relayed back through the orbiter and the lander back to the Earth.
If the mission continues to go according to plan, India will be only the fourth country to perform a soft landing on the Moon after the U.S.S.R., U.S., and China. We’ll find out if it achieves this goal or not on September 7.