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August 12-18, 2019 / Vol 38, No 32 / Hawai’i Island, USA

9 Aug 2019, 20:35 UTC
August 12-18, 2019 / Vol 38, No 32 / Hawai’i Island, USA
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Chandrayaan-2 Mission to Lunar South Pole Area Continues, ETA Sep 7

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-2, Hindi for ‘Moon-Craft’, is prepared to leave Earth orbit. The launch on a GSLV Mk-III from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on July 22 has created much interest and 7,500 members of the public have registered online with ISRO for a spot in the viewing gallery. Now a series of 5 propulsion-firing, orbit-raising maneuvers, the latest lasting 1,041 seconds, have brought the spacecraft to a highly elliptical Earth orbit with a perigee of 276 km and an apogee of 142,975 km. Stunning images of the Earth, taken by onboard L14 camera, have been returned from 5,000 km. The next phase of the Chandrayaan-2 mission is Trans-Lunar Injection, which will set the spacecraft on its way to orbit the Moon August 14 – the Eve of India’s Independence Day (1947) and anniversary of ISRO founding (1969). A week-long, curved trajectory is intended to lower fuel requirements in comparison to a more direct route. Landing of the 1,471-kg Vikram, containing 4 payloads, is expected September 7 at approximately 70° South on a near side plateau between the craters Simpelius N and ...

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