In a major success to India's space mission Chandrayaan-2, ISRO has released the first image of the Moon captured by 'Vikram Lander' on Thursday. The image shows the lunar surface from a height of about 2650 km. Detailing the visuals captured on Wednesday night, ISRO said that specific craters -Mare Orientale and Apollo, formed due to previous Moon landing were spotted. Vikram Lander is presently orbiting the moon, preparing for its landing.
Take a look at the first Moon image captured by #Chandrayaan2 #VikramLander taken at a height of about 2650 km from Lunar surface on August 21, 2019.— ISRO (@isro) August 22, 2019
Mare Orientale basin and Apollo craters are identified in the picture.#ISRO pic.twitter.com/ZEoLnSlATQ
After entering the lunar orbit on Tuesday, ISRO plans to perform soft landing ahead of its scheduled date of September 7. ISRO chairman K Sivan addressed the media after it was inserted in the moon orbiter. He stated that now the next big day is September 2 when Vikram Lander will begin its descent onto the lunar surface. Vikram is scheduled to touch down on the south pole of the moon on September 7.
On Tuesday, K Sivan told reporters: "Out of 10.5cm/sec, if there's a one-second blunder in the mission, the spacecraft will miss the landing site by 7 degrees. All engineers will first map the landing site. A flat, plain ground without rocks or a steep incline is ideal, and the decision on which spot to land on will be made by the spacecraft in an autonomous 15-minute landing sequence starting at 1.40 am IST on 7 September." Hence, from September 2, all focus will shift to Vikram Lander.
Chandrayaan-2's rocket lifted off at the scheduled time of 2:43 PM on July 22. The average distance between the Earth and the Moon is 3, 84, 000 km. Vikram lander will land on Moon on the 48th day of the mission starting from Monday approximately on September 9. This moon-lander and rover mission proves that India is taking lead in space exploration as its mission aims to investigate the unexplored south pole of the moon. With Chandrayaan-2 India aims at the soft landing on the Moon. If successful, it will be the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to do so.