Join Donate

Jason DavisAugust 20, 2019

Chandrayaan-2 Enters Lunar Orbit

India's Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is safely in lunar orbit! The combination lander, rover, and orbiter fired its main engine for 29 minutes on 20 August, slipping into orbit around the Moon at 09:02 IST (03:32 UTC). ISRO reported the orbit has an apolune, or high point above the lunar surface, of 18,072 kilometers and a perilune, or low point above the surface, of 114 kilometers. 

Chandrayaan-2 Lunar Orbit Insertion diagram

Sankar Viswanathan

Chandrayaan-2 Lunar Orbit Insertion diagram
This visualization, made using an orbit generator by Sankar Viswanathan, shows Chandrayaan-2's lunar orbit insertion burn on 20 August 2019.

Chandrayaan-2 saying hello from the Moon https://t.co/0EjdtdCPzK

— Jason Davis (@jasonrdavis) August 20, 2019

Another early morning at the Dwingeloo @radiotelescoop. This time to track the @isro #Chandrayaan2 lunar insertion burn. This is the Doppler curve of the 2230.8MHz radio signal from the lunar orbiter during the insertion burn. pic.twitter.com/2Aql8O12b9

— Cees Bassa (@cgbassa) August 20, 2019

Chandrayaan-2 is expected to use 4 engine burns to circularize and lower its lunar orbit to roughly 100 kilometers by 1 September. The lander, named Vikram, will separate from the orbiter on 2 September and drop its own orbit down to about 100 by 30 kilometers. Vikram's final descent to the surface is scheduled for 7 September.

#ISRO
Today (August 20, 2019) after the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI), #Chandrayaan2 is now in Lunar orbit. Lander Vikram will soft land on Moon on September 7, 2019 pic.twitter.com/6mS84pP6RD

— ISRO (@isro) August 20, 2019

Read more: Chandrayaan-2, the Moon

You are here:
Jason Davis thumbnail
Jason Davis

Editorial Director for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Jason Davis

Comments & Sharing
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Europa
The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.

Donate

"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign Up for Email Updates