Chennai: ISRO Chairman K Sivan said yesterday that the crucial process of taking up soft landing of the lander ‘Vikram’ onboard the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft that is currently in the lunar orbit will be taken up in the early hours of 7 September.
Speaking to reporters, he said, “It is expected to make a soft landing at around 1.40 am and completed by 1.55 am. At the global level this is an important mission. It is being keenly watched by everyone.” He further added that the speed of the spacecraft needs to be brought down to ‘zero’ during the process.
Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft had successfully entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday using the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver. The second Lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre performed on Wednesday. There will be three more orbit manoeuvres before the lander’s separation from the Orbiter on 2 September. It will eventually soft land in the south polar region of the Moon on 7 September.
Then it will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to soft land in the South polar region of the Moon. Asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be part of the event when ‘Vikram’ makes the soft landing, he said an invitation has been sent seeking the Prime Minister’s participation.
To a question whether there was any gender bias at ISRO, he said, “There is no gender bias at ISRO. Two women got an opportunity during Chandrayaan-2 mission. Similarly, there will be opportunities for women to play lead roles in future projects,” he said. Two women scientists Ritu Karidhal and M Vanitha are the mission and project directors, respectively.
The ISRO chairman was honoured with the Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Award by Chief Minister K Palaniswami yesterday.