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Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

India set to land on the moon, Chandrayaan-2 entered the orbit, ‘an important step in the landmark journey’

India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Tuesday, moving closer to reaching the surface and becoming the first to land on the south pole.

Chandrayaan-2, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, entered the orbit around midnight Eastern Time in a complicated insertion maneuver that took 29 minutes.

“Our hearts almost stopped today till it completed its job,” Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), told reporters at a news conference. “But still the landing is the terrifying moment… because that is a phase that we are doing for the first time,” he added.

India will become only the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon, after the United States, the former Soviet Union and China.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the ISRO on Tuesday, tweeting: “Best wishes for its successful culmination.”

Modi hailed the mission as “an important step in the landmark journey”.

India hopes the $145m (£116m) mission will be the first to land on the Moon’s south pole. Last month’s launch was the beginning of a 384,000km (239,000-mile) journey.

Sivan said Chandrayaan-2’s successful entry into the Moon’s orbit was a make-or-break moment for the mission.

The craft, which comprises three parts – an orbiter, a lander and a rover – used an on-board propulsion system to complete the tricky operation.

Sivan said the speed and altitude of the craft had to be “just right” because “even a small error would have killed the mission”.

“Our heartbeats increased… for 30 minutes, our hearts almost stopped,” Sivan said.

The launch was originally scheduled for July 15, but was abruptly called off just 56 minutes before liftoff due to a “technical snag.”

Satellite from India orbits Mars, program passes China, Japan

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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