‘Terrifying’ 15 Minutes, Chandrayaan 2 to make soft-landing on Moon in early hours of Saturday

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Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander will make a soft landing on the surface of the Moon in the early hours of Saturday (September 7). The Vikram lander is scheduled to make its soft landing between 1.30 am to 2.30 am.

The landing will be followed by the Rover – Pragyaan – roll out between 5.30 am to 6.30 am. The Rover is housed inside the Vikram lander.

The crucial landing of Vikram, onboard the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission, will be carried out by at least eight onboard equipment in a coordinated manner.

The lander Vikram, named after the father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, will be landed in a high plain between two craters at a latitude of about 70 degrees South of the moon.

The lander carries three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments.

Ahead of the proposed touchdown of the Vikram lander in the early hours of Saturday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) released a video to explain how it will take place.

The space agency explained that the machine has been fitted with at least three cameras, Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC), Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera (LHVC) and Lander Hazardous Detection and Avoidance Camera (LHDAC), to ensure its soft landing on the lunar surface.

There are two KA Band Altimeter-1 and KA Band Altimeter-2 and a Laser Altimeter (LASA), an instrument that is used to learn about the topography or the shape of the surface of a planet.

LASA will operate through the orbiter revolving around the moon above the Vikram lander.

The lander will have five 800N Liquid thruster engines, touchdown sensors, and solar panels. The Vikram lander will later have its four engines on four sides switched on.

After this, the Absolute Navigation Phase, KA Band-1, Laser Altimeter, and Lander Position Detection Camera will be activated. This is to ensure that the Vikram lander is positioned in the space just above the moon surface to sit perfectly on the ground.

The Lander Position Detection Camera will be switched on and two engines will be ignited.

The Isro will then carry out the landers parabolic descent for a soft landing by igniting the central engine. After the touchdown, the three payloads – Chaste, Rambha and Ilsa – will be deployed.

After the touchdown, the Pragyaan will roll out to carry out an intense probe of the moon soil with its two payloads.

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