In a significant milestone for India’s Moon mission, ISRO successfully placed Chandrayaan 2 into the lunar orbit on Tuesday morning.

In a significant milestone for India’s Moon Mission, Chandrayaan-2 successfully entered the lunar orbit today after nearly 30 days of journey in space. ISRO in a statement said, “Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019) at 0902 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of maneuver was 1738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 114 km x 18072 km.”


  • Isro successfully placed Chandrayaan 2 into the lunar orbit
  • Isro fired Chandrayaan 2 liquid engine to achieve the major milestone
  • In the next stage, Vikram the lander will separate from the orbiter on Sept 2

chandrayaan 2

The critical step will require the liquid apogee motors (thrusters) to be fired in the opposite direction to the spacecraft’s movement, therefore slowing it down in a what’s known as “retrofiring“. This allow the spacecraft to come under the influence of the moon’s orbit.

With the location of the moon relative to the Earth and the Earth relative to the Sun constantly changing, the intersection of Chandrayaan 2’s path with the moon’s was predicted and planned well ahead of time.

On Monday, ISRO Chairman K Sivan had called the step “challenging”. This was one of the trickiest operations in the mission because if the satellite approached the Moon at a higher-than-expected velocity it would bounce off it and get lost in deep space. But if it approached at a slow velocity, the Moon’s gravity would pull the Chandrayaan-2 and it might crash into the surface.

While Chandrayaan 1 had confirmed the presence of water on the lunar surface 11 years ago, Chandrayaan 2 will be the first time India lands on the Moon. The second Moon mission will be exploring the uncharted south pole of the Moon and help scientists understand the origin and evolution of the Moon.