First Moon Photo By Chandrayaan-2 Shows Apollo Crater, Mare Orientale Basin

Katie Ramirez
August 22, 2019

The Chandrayaan 2 captured the first image of the Moon, released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday, in another milestone for India's space mission. The image, captured from a height of 2,650km from the lunar surface, was taken by a camera on board lander Vikram on Wednesday.

Mare Orientale basin and Apollo craters are identified in the picture. Before landing on September 7, the Chandrayaan-2 composite module has to move much closer to the Moon, in a near-circular orbit of 100 km x 100 km. The orbit exercise was performed for about 20 minutes from 12.50 firing the onboard motors.

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Chandrayaan 2 successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre. It entered the Moon's orbit on Tuesday and the first Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for the spacecraft was performed successfully on Wednesday. According to ISRO, all spacecraft parameters are normal. For this, it would have to carry out three more orbit -lowering manoeuvres. The final test for the Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled for September 7, which will have the mission landing on the moon's south pole.

The process of landing Chandrayaan 2 on the moon is very complex since it blasted off at a velocity of 39,240 kilometres per hour, which is nearly 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air.

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