India’s moon mission is all set to make its first landing on Sept. 7, an official said Tuesday.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit earlier Tuesday, said Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
“Today, we’ve crossed a major milestone. The precise LOI [Lunar Orbiter Insertion] maneuver carried out at about 9 a.m. for about 30 minutes has put Chandrayaan-2 in the desired orbit perfectly. In order to achieve the soft-landing on September 7, there’s a unique requirement. The inclination of spacecraft needs to achieve an inclination of 90 degrees,” said Sivan in a statement.
“A series of orbit maneuvers will be performed on Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the moon’s surface,” ISRO said on its website.
The process of landing Chandrayaan 2 on the moon is very complex since it blasted off at a velocity of 39,240 kilometers per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air, said Indian broadcaster NDTV.
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.
This mission will make India the fourth country in the world after the U.S., Russia, and China to carry out a soft landing on Moon.