The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday said it successfully carried out the separation of the lander – called Vikram – from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. It was separated at 1.15 pm. The lunar orbiter-lander now has an orbit of 119 km x 127 km.

ISRO said the spacecraft is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network antennas at Byalalu, near the city. The space agency added that all the systems of Chandrayaan 2 orbiter and lander are healthy.

On Tuesday, a small manoeuvre will be done for about 3 seconds to ensure that the lander’s systems are functioning normally.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan had said after this it will proceed to perform a series of “complex braking manoeuvres” before attempting to soft land in the south polar region of the moon. After the touchdown, the rover, Pragyan, will roll down from the Vikram to carry out research on lunar soil.

Chandrayaan-2, had entered the lunar orbit on August 20. The spacecraft is days away from soft landing on the moon, which is scheduled for September 7.

If the mission is successful, India will become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon after the United States, Russia and China. A successful landing would make Chandrayaan-2 the first lunar probe on the south polar region of the moon.

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