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India moon mission placed in lunar orbit



Indian moon mission Chandrayaan-2 has been successfully put into lunar orbit after a cunning maneuver, say officials from Indian Space Research Organization.

The $ A209 million mission aims to map the surface of the lunar south pole, examine its consistency and search for water in 14 days of experiments.

The maneuver on Tuesday lasted about 29 minutes, the Indian space agency said in a statement.

"The Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver accurately injected the Chandrayaan-2 into a defined orbit perfectly," ISRO chief K Sivan told reporters at the agency's headquarters in Bangalore.

This was among the most difficult maneuvers of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO officials told the NDTV broadcaster, explaining that the spacecraft's approach had to be accurate and even a small mistake could have killed the mission.

The 3.8-ton Chandrayaan-2, which covered a distance of 384,000 kilometers from Earth to the Moon, contains an orbiter, landlord and shovel.

The lander and rover are expected to touch down on an unexplored part of the South Pole region on September 7, the ISRO said.

Chandrayaan-2 – meaning "moon vehicle" in Sanskrit – was launched from the Sriharikota spacecraft in southern India on July 22 on a locally built rocket.

If India succeeds, it will become the fourth country to achieve a smooth landing on the moon after the United States, the former USSR and China.

Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar mission of the country. The first mission, Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008 and orbited the moon but did not land.


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