Chandrayaan-2 completes a year of orbiting the moon

Sriharikota: GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle mounted on Mobile Launch Pedestal moving towards the Second Launch Pad. India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle - Mark III (GSLV Mk III), nicknamed as 'Bahubali' and its passenger Chandrayaan-2 being readied up for their historic flight to the Moon on July 15 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota of Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district. (Photo: IANS/ISRO)

Chennai, (Asian independent) It is one year since India’s second moon spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 was inserted into the lunar orbit, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Thursday.

The Indian space agency said Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft/orbiter was launched on July 22, 2019 and inserted into lunar orbit on August 20, 2019.

Though the soft-landing attempt of the lander Vikram was not successful, the orbiter, which was equipped with eight scientific instruments, was successfully placed in lunar orbit.

The orbiter completed more than 4,400 orbits around the moon and all the instruments are currently performing well, the ISRO said.

The spacecraft is healthy and performance of subsystems are normal. The orbiter is being maintained in 100 +/- 25 km polar orbit with periodic orbit maintenance (OM) manoeuvres.

So far, 17 OMs have been carried out since achieving 100 km lunar orbit on September 24, 2019.

There is adequate onboard fuel to remain operational for about seven years, ISRO said.

The Indian space agency said the first moon mission Chandrayaan-1 established the extensive presence of surface water and the indication for subsurface polar water-ice deposits, arguing for more focused studies on the extent of water on the surface, below the surface and in the tenuous lunar exosphere, to address the true origin and availability of water on moon.