The lander module of Chandrayaan-2, called Vikram, today detached itself from the main spacecraft and started to move around the moon independently. The separation, one of the major milestones in the journey of Chandrayaan-2, happened at 1315 hours.
The Vikram lander, which carries Pragyaan rover module inside it, is right now moving in the same orbit as the main spacecraft which had descended itself in a near circular orbit on Sunday. This orbit is 119 km from the moon’s surface at its nearest and 127 km at the furthest.
On Tuesday, the Vikram lander would move itself in a lower orbit, that will be 109 km at its nearest point from moon and 120 km at the furthest.
“The health of the Orbiter and Lander is being monitored from the Missions 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 statement.
After two manoeuvres to bring the lander in a lower orbit, one on Tuesday, and the other on Thursday, Vikram would attempt to land on the moon’s surface in the early hours of September 7.