Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar mission, successfully performed its fourth lunar orbit manoeuvre on Friday at 18:18 hours IST. The spacecraft moved closer to the surface of the Moon as it reached into an orbit which is 124 km from the lunar surface at its nearest point, and 164 km at the farthest.
The spacecraft used the onboard propulsion system and the duration of this manoeuvre was 1155 seconds. All parameters of the spacecraft are normal, ISRO said in a statement. The Chandrayaan-2 will now go through one final orbit manoeuvre. This next lunar orbit manoeuvre is scheduled to be performed on Sunday, September 1 between 18:00-19:00 hours IST.
Fourth Lunar bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (August 30, 2019) at 1818 hrs IST.
— ISRO (@isro) August 30, 2019
Once the spacecraft attains a near-circular orbit of 100 km around the Moon which is likely to happen when the next orbit manoeuvre is done, its Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover modules will then get separated from the main spacecraft on September 3 and make a landing on lunar surface in the early hours of September 7.
To recall, earlier this week on Wednesday, Chandrayaan-2 had completed its third orbit manoeuvre or Lunar Bound Phase 3 (LBN#3) after which the spacecraft got placed in the orbit that was 179 km away from the Moon’s surface at its nearest point and 1,412 km at its farthest.
Last Monday, ISRO had released a set of images showing the surface of the Moon with the help of Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) installed on Chandrayaan-2. The pictures were clicked from an altitude of about 4,375 kilometres above the lunar surface and show craters such as Jackson, Mach, Korolev and Mitra, the Indian space agency said.