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First image of Moon captured by Chandrayaan-2

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Aug 22: The ISRO has released first image captured by Chandrayaan-2 of the Moon. The Chandrayaan-2 is currently in lunar transfer trajectory and it left earth's orbit on August 14. Chandrayaan-2 is in Moon's orbit, it's orbits would be lowered in steps.

"Take a look at the first Moon image captured by #Chandrayaan2 #VikramLander taken at a height of about 2650 km from Lunar surface on August 21, 2019. Mare Orientale basin and Apollo craters are identified in the picture," ISRO tweet said.

Here's the first image of Moon captured by Chandrayaan-2:


In the photo, Isro highlighted two significant lunar landmarks -- the Apollo crater and the Mare Orientale basin.

Chandrayaan-2 is currently flying in an elliptical orbit of 118 kms x 4412 kms around the Moon. The closest Chandrayaan-2 comes to the Moon on this orbit is 118 kms while the farthest is 4412 kms.

[Chandrayaan 2: Why orbit maneuvers and why not direct straight path from Earth to Moon?]

ISRO on Wednesday performed the second lunar-bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft. If all goes as planned, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2 when ISRO will begin its powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was launched on July 22, 2019, using a GLSV Mark III launch vehicle from the (Satish Dhawan Space Center) in Sriharikota. Vikram lander is expected to soft land on Moon on 6 September 2019. On Wednesday, ISRO performed the second lunar bound orbit manoeuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft that is currently in the lunar orbit. Moon provides the best linkage to Earth's early history.

It offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner Solar system environment. Though there are a few mature models, the origin of Moon still needs further explanations. Extensive mapping of lunar surface to study variations in lunar surface composition is essential to trace back the origin and evolution of the Moon.

Evidence for water molecules discovered by Chandrayaan-1, requires further studies on the extent of water molecule distribution on the surface, below the surface and in the tenuous lunar exosphere to address the origin of water on Moon.

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