Mumbai, August, 21: Accomplishing a dream with all its efforts and hard work paying off well as India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 marked one year in orbit around the moon and it has completed more than 4,400 orbits around the Moon. It was launched on 22 July 2019.
On this occasion, ISRO said that all instruments are currently performing well and there is adequate onboard fuel to keep it operational for about seven more years. Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20, exactly one year ago.
ISRO also added the "Though the soft-landing attempt (of the lander carrying the rover) was not successful, the orbiter, which was equipped with eight scientific instruments, was successfully placed in the lunar orbit. The orbiter completed more than 4,400 orbits around the Moon and all the instruments are currently performing well".
The orbiter is being maintained in 100 +/- 25 km polar orbit with periodic orbit maintenance (OM) maneuvers. So far, 17 OMs are carried out since achieving a 100 km lunar orbit on September 24, 2019. There is adequate onboard fuel to remain operational for about seven years. The anticipated long life of this orbiter can contribute much to the current resurgence of interest among the global scientific community for a sustained presence on the Moon," the space agency said.
The statement from ISRO also adds that the eight scientific payloads onboard are being used optimally. According to ISRO, over the last year, the Terrain Mapping Camera 2 (TMC 2) has been able to acquire images of nearly 4 million sq Km of lunar surface area, during 220 orbits. TMC-2 is said to be the highest resolution camera that is currently in orbit around the moon. With a resolution of 30cm, it will be able to distinguish between objects that are 30 cm apart.
Last week to honor Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Program, one of the craters in Moon captured by the Chandrayaan-2 has been named after him. On the completion of his birth centenary on August 12, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement that the crater on Mare Serenitatis in the northeast quadrant of the Moon has been named 'Sarabhai Crater' to pay tribute to the scientist.
Chandrayaan-2 mission was a highly complex mission. The Chandrayaan-2 rover launched on 22 July 2019 could not have a soft landing on the moon. But the orbiter accompanying him was successfully placed in the moon’s orbit. According to ISRO, periodic orbit maintenance maneuvers have been performed 17 times since the orbiter. Chandrayaan-2 mission was India’s first attempt to make a soft landing of a rover on the unchartered South Pole of the lunar surface. However, the lander Vikram hard-landed in September last year.
India’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 is credited with finding the extensive presence of surface water and the indication of sub-surface polar water-ice deposits. ISRO is also working on Chandrayaan 3, the country's third moon probe, and it is expected to be launched sometime in 2021 or later.