Our heart was almost stopping: ISRO Chief K Sivan on Chandrayaan-2 maneuver
(Photo by Manjunath Kiran / AFP)

Bengaluru (Karnataka): Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Sivan on Tuesday announced Chandrayaan- 2's successful completion of lunar orbit insertion while stating that the mission would carry out a soft landing on the moon on September 7.

Sivan also stated that an invitation has been extended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to witness the landing of Chandrayaan 2, however, a confirmation is awaited. Addressing media on this significant milestone, Sivan said, "Chandrayaan 2 mission crossed a major milestone today, the precise lunar orbit insertion maneuver was carried out at 9 am for about 30 minutes and Chandrayaan 2 was precisely inserted in the defined orbit." Sivan detailed that the next major event will happen on 2 September when the lander will be separated from the orbiter.

"Our heart was almost stopping", was how ISRO Chairman K Sivan described the tense moments when team Chadrayaan-2 attempted to inject the spacecraft into the lunar orbit on Tuesday. As ISRO scientists started firing Chandrayaan-2's onboard liquid engine to put the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon, Sivan said, "our heartbeat increased". "Now the tension has only increased, not reduced," he said while addressing a press conference.

"Till now the entire operations were carried by the proportion systems from the orbiter and from September 2nd onwards the entire attention will be on the lander. On 3rd September we will have a small maneuver- 'D orbit maneuver' for about 3 seconds to ensure that the systems of the lander are running normally. After confirming the normalcy of the system, then on September 4 we will be doing a real D-orbit maneuver at lander for about 6.5 second", Sivan told reporters.

Sivan also announced that the power descent will be starting on September 7 at 1:40 am and in next 15 minutes the lander will be landing at a site 71 degree south of Moon's equator at a 22.8-degree east location. "On September 7th, at 1:55 am lander will land on the moon. We have invited PM Modi to witness spacecraft landing on the moon on September 7", he said.

Emphasising over the significance of the probe mission, Sivan said, "The entire globe is looking forward to our data as ours is the first-ever mission to the lunar South pole." After it was launched on July 22, the spacecraft's orbit was progressively increased five times from July 23 to August 6. Chandrayaan-2 will explore a region of the moon where no mission has ever set foot. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover together referred to as "composite body". The spacecraft will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface. This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to carry out a soft landing on the moon.

(Inputs from ANI, PTI)

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