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ISRO Says Chandrayaan-2 Has Enough Fuel To Last For 7 Years Around Moon

As India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 completed a year in orbit around the moon on August 20, ISRO said that all instruments are performing well

ISRO

As India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 completed one year in orbit around the moon on August 20, ISRO said that all instruments are currently performing well and there is adequate onboard fuel to keep it operational for about seven more years. Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20, exactly one year ago.

The Indian Space Research Organisation said in the statement: "Though the soft-landing attempt (of the lander carrying the rover) was not successful, the orbiter, which was equipped with eight scientific instruments, was successfully placed in the lunar orbit. The orbiter completed more than 4,400 orbits around the Moon and all the instruments are currently performing well," .

"The orbiter is being maintained in 100 +/- 25 km polar orbit with periodic orbit maintenance (OM) maneuvers. So far, 17 OMs are carried out since achieving 100 km lunar orbit on September 24, 2019. There is adequate onboard fuel to remain operational for about seven years. The anticipated long life of this orbiter can contribute much to the current resurgence of interest among the global scientific community for a sustained presence on the Moon," the space agency said.

READ | Chandrayaan 2: Indian techie who spotted lost Vikram lander says Pragyaan seems 'intact'

What is Chandrayaan 2?

Chandrayaan-2's rocket lifted off at the scheduled time of 2:43 PM on July 22, 2019. The average distance between the Earth and the Moon is 3, 84, 000 km. Vikram lander was scheduled to land on the Moon on the 48th day of the mission on September 7, but had a hard landing. On September 7, Vikram Lander which had separated from Chandrayaan 2's orbiter on September 2, while descending onto the lunar surface lost contact with ISRO Mission Control Centre. If the landing would have been successful, India would have been the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to do so. Chandrayaan 2's lunar orbiter is currently revolving around the moon taking high-resolution pictures.

READ | ISRO shares image of moon crater captured by Chandrayaan-2, names it after Vikram Sarabhai

Pragyaan Seems 'intact'

Indian techie and space enthusiast Shanmuga Subramanian who spotted Vikram lander of Chandrayaan 2 on the lunar surface, has said that rover Pragyan may be 'intact' on Moon's surface. In a series of tweets, he shared images showing that Chandrayaan - 2's Pragyan has rolled out a few metres from the skeleton Vikram lander whose payloads got disintegrated due to hard landing.

Moreover, he said that there is a distinct possibility that the commands sent to the lander were received and it was relayed it to the rover, however, Vikram lander was not able to communicate it back to the earth. He has tagged ISRO in his findings and shared images of his findings, and has also given a detailed explanation for it.

READ | 1st anniversary of Chandrayaan-2 launch, all 8 payloads performing well: ISRO

'Sarabhai Crater'

To honour Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Program, one of the craters in Moon captured by the Chandrayaan-2 has been named after him. On the completion of his birth centenary on August 12, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement that the crater on Mare Serenitatis in the northeast quadrant of the Moon has been named 'Sarabhai Crater' to pay tribute to the scientist. 

READ | Space sector reforms not aimed at privatising ISRO: Chairman K Sivan

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