- Advanced moon lander 'Vikram' separated from Chandrayaan 2 orbiter: ISRO
- All systems of Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander are healthy, says ISRO
- Vikram lander will head to a region on moon that is less explored
The advanced moon lander 'Vikram' successfully separated from India's moonshot Chandrayaan 2 orbiter today, the Indian Space Research Organisation tweeted. "The health of the orbiter and lander is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex... All the systems of Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander are healthy," ISRO said today.
The Vikram lander will head to a region on the moon that is little explored till date - most lunar landings have taken place in the northern hemisphere or in the equatorial region. It is scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface on September 7.
After touchdown, the rover - Pragyan - will roll down from the Vikram craft to carry out research on lunar soil.
The Chandrayaan 2 was successfully manoeuvred into lunar orbit on August 20, after nearly 30 days of space travel. This was one of the trickiest operations in the mission. A higher-than-expected approach velocity would have bounced off the spacecraft into deep space, while a slow approach would have led to the moon's gravity to pull Chandrayaan 2 and crash it on the lunar surface.
The approach velocity had to be just right and the altitude over the moon rather precise. Even a small error would have killed the mission.
The process of landing Chandrayaan 2 on the moon is very complex since it blasted off at a velocity of 39,240 kilometres per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air.
India's most ambitious space mission to date, Chandrayaan 2 had lifted off from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 22. The lift-off was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch.
The mission stands out because of its low cost, with just about Rs. 1,000 crore spent - a much smaller price tag compared to similar missions by other countries.