Chandrayaan-2 completes a year around moon, enough fuel for 7 more yrs: ISRO

Chandrayaan-2 being launched in 2019.

New Delhi (NVI): Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar mission, has completed one year in orbit around the moon and there is adequate onboard fuel to keep it operational for about seven more years, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, adding that all its instruments are currently performing well.

Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019 and inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20, exactly one year ago.

“Though the soft-landing attempt (of the lander carrying the rover) was not successful, the orbiter, which was equipped with eight scientific instruments, was successfully placed in the lunar orbit,” ISRO stated.

The orbiter has completed more than 4,400 orbits around the Moon and all the instruments are currently performing well, it added.

The Indian space agency said that the orbiter is being maintained in 100+/-25 km polar orbit (circling the moon along the poles) with periodic orbit maintenance (OM) manoeuvres.

When any satellite or spacecraft is in space in a certain orbit it swings wildly on a certain plane and moves a few hundred metres or even a few kilometres away from the intended path. That’s when commands are issued to fire its on-board liquid-fuelled Motors to steer it back on course.

So far, 17 such OMs have been carried out since achieving 100 km lunar orbit on September 24, 2019.

The statement from ISRO also adds that the eight scientific payloads on-board are being used optimally.

Chandrayaan-2 mission was India’s first attempt to make a softlanding of a rover on the unchartered South Pole of the lunar surface.

However, the Vikram lander hard-landed in September last year.

-CHK