The Indian Space Research Organisation has confirmed that the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft succesfully entered into Lunar orbit earlier today. According to a tweet by ISRO the Lunar Orbit Insertion maneuver started at 03:32 UTC (09:02 IST, Indian Standard Time).
The orbit achieved is 114 kilometers at perilune and 18,072 kilometers at apolune. In the coming days the spacecraft will circularize its orbit to around 100 kilometers from the Moon’s surface.
Chandrayaan-2 consists of an orbiter that will observe the Lunar surface and relay communication between Earth and the Vikram Lander, which is designed to execute India’s first soft landing on the Lunar surface. The lander carries with it a 6-wheeled and AI-powered rover named Pragyan.
The landing is scheduled to take place on September 7th and Vikram will touch down near the Lunar south pole where observations have suggested that water ice may be trapped in permanently shadowed craters.
According to Sandya Ramesh Vikram will touch down at 01:55 AM IST (08:25 UTC)
The rover will operate for one Lunar day which is 14 days on Earth.
For more information, visit ISRO’s website on Chandrayaan-2.