In a major development, the Vikram Lander separated from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter on Monday, ISRO stated in an update. The lander separated at 1.15 pm and is currently located in an orbit of 119 km x 127 km. The lander is expected to make a soft landing on the moon's south pole on September 7.
The Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in its existing orbit, ISRO added.
"The health of the Orbiter and Lander is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Bylalu, near Bengaluru. All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter and Lander are healthy," ISRO said in a press release.
Vikram Lander Successfully separates from #Chandrayaan2 Orbiter today (September 02, 2019) at 1315 hrs IST.
For details please visit https://t.co/mSgp79R8YP pic.twitter.com/jP7kIwuZxHâ€” ISRO (@isro) September 2, 2019
The next maneuver is scheduled for September 3 between 8.45 am to 9.45 am. There will be two deorbit maneuvers of the Vikram Lander to prepare for its landing in the south polar region of the moon.
On August 20, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit. The Orbiter will observe the lunar surface and relay communication between earth and lander Vikram. The spacecraft will orbit around the moon for over a year over its north-south poles, charging and keeping all its robotic instruments active through its solar panels and conduct various experiments.
On July 22, Chandrayaan-2 was launched onboard a heavy rocket (GSLV Mark-III) on July 22 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh off the Bay of Bengal coast, about 90 km northeast of Chennai. The mission cost Rs 978 crore. The spacecraft comprises three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).
The second manoeuvre was performed on August 21 as planned after the spacecraft was inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20.
In the run-up to Vikram soft-landing with Pragyan near the moon's south pole between two craters on September 7, a couple of manoeuvres will be performed to take the spacecraft to its final orbit at about 100 km from the lunar surface.
With IANS inputs