Moon lander conducts first de-orbit exercise

Moon lander conducts first de-orbit exercise

Agency News

After successfully separating India's first Moon lander, Vikram, on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation conducted its first deorbit manoeuvre successfully on Tuesday. The manoeuvre began at 8.50 am and had duration of 4 seconds.

The ISRO officials said that after the manoeuvre, the lander had achieved a 109 x 120 km orbit around the Moon. One more deorbit manoeuvre will be conducted on Wednesday and the orbit that the lander will achieve after this will be 39 X 110 km. The effort is to soft-land the lander in the South Polar Region of the Moon between two craters -- Manzinus C and Simpelius N -- on September 7.

Deorbiting manoeuvres involve the firing of the spacecraft's engines to slow down its pace and bring it closer to the Moon's surface. Earlier, the ISRO Chairman, Dr.  K Sivan said that using deorbiting manoeuvres, the space agency would rotate the lander to the opposite side and burn all the five engines for a short while to reduce the distance between the lander and the Moon's surface, before rotating it back to the previous position.

In the second manoeuvre, the agency will once again rotate the lander to the opposite side and conduct a small burn of the engines to further bring down the orbit.