The photo showed the moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-2 LI4 Camera on August 21 at 5:03 pm UT (Universal Time).

Chandrayaan-2 sends back first photo of the moon
news Chandrayaan-2 Friday, August 23, 2019 - 14:37

Chandrayaan-2, India’s mission to the moon which successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20, has sent the first photo of the moon and it was released on Thursday.

The photo showed the moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-2 LI4 Camera on August 21 at 5:03 pm UT (Universal Time).

It was the same day that the second lunar bound manoeuvre was performed successfully starting 12:50 pm. “The duration of the maneuver was 1228 seconds. The orbit achieved is 118 km x 4412 km,” ISRO had said.

All parameters of the spacecraft were recorded to be normal.

Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Its orbit was incrementally increased five times between July 23 and August 6. The spacecraft is expected to make a landing on the moon on September 7.

Vikram, the lander, will detach from Chandrayaan-2 on September 2. When the lander is at the 30 kilometre-altitude, the final descent to the moon will commence on September 6. “Two orbit maneuvers will be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 07, 2019,” ISRO had said.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission is the first ISRO mission to be led by women – it has Ritu Karidhal as its mission director, and M Vanitha as its project director.

Assuming Chandrayaan-2 successfully makes a landing on moon on September 7, India will become the fourth country in the world to have made a soft landing on the moon after the US, former Soviet Union and China.

India’s second lunar mission is taking ahead findings of Chandrayaan-1, which found evidence of water in moon’s exosphere.

Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to land on the south pole of the moon, which is most likely to have water. If water is indeed discovered, it would have consequences for space travel – with the moon possibly becoming a rendezvous point having base materials for fuel and oxygen. 

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