Chandrayaan 2’s moon lander Vikram underwent the first of two ‘de-orbiting’ manoeuvres on Tuesday morning.
The four-second operation performed from ISRO’s Bengaluru control centre has slightly trimmed the lander’s orbit towards its destination. This readies it for Saturday’s touchdown on moon.
Vikram now goes around in a slightly shorter orbit at a distance of 104 km x 128 km from the moon.
On Monday afternoon, Vikram, carrying a rover within, broke free as planned from atop the main Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft (which continues to orbit the moon on its own.)
An ISRO update said, “The first de-orbiting manoeuvre was performed successfully today (September 03) beginning at 0850 hrs IST as planned using the on board propulsion system. Both the orbiter and the lander are healthy.”
The next orbit-cutting manoeuvre is marked for September 4 between 3.30 and 4.30 a.m.