Chandrayaan 2 Beams Back First Image Of The Moon From 2650 Km Altitude


Chandrayaan 2, India's ambitious Moon mission, has captured the first set of images of the Moon. These images have been shared by ISRO via Twitter. The spacecraft has captured the image at an altitude of 2650 km from the surface of the Moon on August 21. Interestingly, these images show two most visible features - the Mare Orientale basin and the Apollo craters.

Chandrayaan 2 Beams Back First Image Of The Moon From 2650 Km Altitude


As per ISRO, the image of the Moon has been captured by Chandrayaan 2's LI-4 at 7:03 PM IST. This comes after the spacecraft completed its first orbital manoeuvre in the lunar orbit. It is said that the 20-minute manoeuvre is one of the trickiest tasks in the mission and the spacecraft would have bounced off into deep space if it failed.

Two Notable Features Captured By Chandrayaan 2

The Apollo crater is a 538-km wide and is named after Apollo Moon missions from NASA. It is at the southern hemisphere of the Moon. As per NASA, there are smaller craters within Apollo named after NASA officials and astronauts who are no more. Seven such craters have been named after the crew of NASA's Colombia.

On the other hand, the Mare Orientale is claimed to be over 3 billion years old. Resembling a bullseye in shape, it is said to be 950 km wide. It was formed due to an impact from an asteroid-shaped object. It is a significant landmark on the Moon and is not visible from the Earth.


Chandrayaan 2 Mission

After the first manoeuvre, the next significant test for the spacecraft is stated to happen on September 7. The spacecraft will have to land on the south pole of the Moon on the said date. If it is successful, then India will become the fourth nation to make a soft landing on the lunar surface after Russia, US, and China. Previously, Israel attempted to do the same but its Beresheet spacecraft was unsuccessful as it crashed landed on the Moon.

Notably, the landing of Chandrayaan 2 on the Moon is quite complex as it blasted off at a velocity of 39,240 km per hour. This is almost 30 times the speed of sound.

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