The stage is set for the historic moment in Indian space science, as the national space agency ISRO is all geared up to navigate the lander of Chandrayaan-2 to soft-land on the moon. The crucial landing operation would be held between 1 and 2 am Saturday, using the most complex ‘powered descent’ of the Lander Vikram. After initiating the powered descent, the Lander is expected to touch down gently on the lunar South Pole in just fifteen minutes, as informed by the ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan earlier. The powered descent is being attempted for the first time by the ISRO.
It involves several novelties. Scientists say, the Lander is equipped with five thrusters to slow it down during its downward movement towards the moon surface and balance the Lander in such a way that it touches down properly without rattling the dusty ground. The speed of the downward movement of the Lander is expected to be just under two metres a second. The Lander is primed to release the rover it carries after whatever dust raised from the surface is settled.
It is expected to take about four hours before the rover rolls out by using a ramp that will emerge from of the Lander. The Rover is named Pragyaan, meaning wisdom, which is expected to send huge data useful to expand the understanding of the moon, along with the observations of the Orbiter and the Lander. Over a billion Indians are awaiting the consummation of the mission Chandrayaan-2 with bated breath, as the ISRO scientists are confidently moving ahead with the operation.