- Chandrayaan-2 is currently orbiting around the Moon
- Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to land a rover on the Moon
- Only three countries have landed rovers on the Moon
Chandrayaan-2 has shot an image of the Moon from a height of over 2,000 kilometres as it flies around the satellite, preparing to land a rover on the lunar surface. The photo of the Moon was shot by Vikram, which is Chandrayaan-2’s lander.
The photo was released by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Twitter. The image was shot on August 21 and was taken from a height of 2,650 kiometres, Isro said.
In the photo, Isro highlighted two significant lunar landmarks — the Apollo crater and the Mare Orientale basin.
Chandrayaan-2 is currently flying in an elliptical orbit of 118 kms x 4412 kms around the Moon. The closest Chandrayaan-2 comes to the Moon on this orbit is 118 kms while the farthest is 4412 kms.
Chandrayaan-2 reached the Moon on August 20, when it entered the lunar orbit. On August 21, Chandrayaan-2 performed a manoeuvre to lower its orbit around the Moon.
The spacecraft will perform several such manoeuvres over the next two weeks to bring itself closer and closer to the Moon.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission’s D-Day is September 2, when the lander Vikram will separate from the spacecraft and get into a lunar orbit of its own.
Early morning on September 7, Vikram will begin a 15-minute powered descent at the end of which it will land near the south pole of the Moon, making India the only country in the world to perform a ‘soft landing’ near the lunar south pole.
Chandrayaan-2 will make India only the fourth could in the world to land a rover on the Moon. Among the experiments the ambitious mission will carry out include tests to determine the extent of water presence on the Moon.