The Indian Space Research Organisation on Sunday released a set of five images of the earth captured by Chandrayaan-2. The pictures, which show parts of the Pacific Ocean and the American continent, were taken by the spacecraft between 10.58 pm and 11.07 pm on Saturday.
The pictures had been taken from a distance of 5,000 km by the L14 camera aboard the lander, Vikram. “The images are crystal clear and [the] spacecraft is perfectly normal,” NDTV quoted ISRO chairman K Sivan as saying. “I am extremely happy with the mission so far. The images taken by the lander suggest it should be able to function as expected during the 15-terrifying moments when it goes in for the lunar landing.” The agency is aiming to put the lander, called Vikram, and the rover, named Pragyan, on the lunar surface by September 7.
The space agency completed the third and fourth orbit-raising manoeuvres on July 29 and August 2, respectively. In the latest orbit-raising manoeuvre, the spacecraft had achieved 277 km at the nearest point and 89,472 km at the farthest point, ISRO said.
Chandrayaan-2, India’s second moon mission, was injected into the orbit on July 22 on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III-M1, which lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The space agency has said the spacecraft would reach the moon on August 20.