The Indian Space Research Organisation said the first de-orbiting manoeuvre for spacecraft Chandrayaan-2’s moon lander Vikram was successfully performed on Tuesday morning.

It was a four-second operation performed at 8.50 am. 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 lunar orbiter-lander now has an orbit of 104 km x 128 km. After this operation, Vikram, which carries the Pragyan rover inside, is closer to the moon.

“Chandrayaan-2 orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in the existing orbit and both the orbiter and lander are healthy,” ISRO said in an update.

The next orbit-cutting manoeuvre is scheduled for Wednesday between 3.30 am and 4.30 am.

On Monday, Vikram broke free from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.

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 four 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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