Chandrayaan 2 has succeeded in completing its first orbit around the Moon. Chandrayaan 2 has to accomplish four orbits around the Moon in total in order to approach Earth’s natural satellite within 100 kilometers.
Chandrayaan 2 is a lunar exploration mission of the Indian Space Research Organization. It is comprised of a lunar orbiter, a lander and a rover called Pragyan. The aim of the mission is to analyze the water ice present at the Moon’s South Pole.
ISRO announces multiple changes of the orbiter’s route
It is normal for a mission in space to present slight changes due to the situations that astronomers and space scientists could have not predicted before the start of the mission. But as long as the mission has been safely finalized and reached its objective, there is nothing to worry.
Chandrayaan 2 is no exception. There have been small changes from the planned operation ever since the beginning. The first deviation was when the second raise in the orbit maneuver was supposed to position the orbiter in a 250 x 54,689 km elliptical orbit around Earth, but it actually positioned it in a 251 x 54,829 km orbit. The difference was of 1 x 140 km (nearest x farthest distance). The second deviation happened in the third orbit-raising maneuver, the contrast between the planned elliptical orbit and the one Chandrayaan 2 was actually positioned was off by 8 x 234 km. The fourth orbit-raising maneuver also presented a change as the spacecraft ended even higher in orbit by 29 x 757 km. Finally, the last change was the moment Chandrayaan 2 first entered into the Moon’s orbit, but instead of being positioned at 118 x 18,078 km orbit, it was actually positioned at a 144 x 18,072 km orbit, is a discrepancy of 4 x 6 km.
Chandrayaan 2 mission is not over and anything can happen until it lands on the Moon’s surface. Let’s hope that the next three maneuvers intended to draw the orbiter closer to the rocky surface will go according to plan.