India’s second lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-2 has completed one year in lunar orbit. The spacecraft was launched into the lunar orbit on August 20, 2019.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which launched the spacecraft said that it has enough fuel onboard to continue operations for around seven more years.
Chandrayaan-2 was India’s first attempt to make a soft landing on the South Pole of the moon surface. The spacecraft was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on July 22, 2019 at 2.43pm.
“With the goal of expanding the lunar scientific knowledge through detailed studies of topography, mineralogy, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics and the lunar exosphere, Chandrayaan-2 was launched on 22nd July 2019 and inserted into the lunar orbit on 20th August 2019, exactly one year ago. Though the soft-landing attempt was not successful, the orbiter, which was equipped with eight scientific instruments, was successfully placed in the lunar orbit,” ISRO said in a statement.
The orbiter has completed more than 4400 orbits around the moon and all the instruments are currently performing well, it said.
Here are some interesting facts about the Chandrayaan-2 Mission –
- It is India’s second lunar exploration mission. The first lunar mission ‘Chandrayaan-1’ was held in October 2008 and operated till August 2009.
- This was India’s first attempt for a soft landing on the South Pole of the moon
- Chandrayaan-2 has three components – Orbiter, Lander and Rover.
- The orbiter entered lunar orbit on August 20, 2019.
- The Lander named ‘Vikram,’ after Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of India’s Space Program had to soft-land on the South Pole of the moon and perform experiments for approximately 14 Earth days. However, it crash-landed on the surface.
- The rover or ‘Pragyan’ was to move on six wheels and traverse 500 metres to perform specific experiments.