Chandrayaan 2 orbiter completed over 9,000 orbits around the moon in two years: ISRO chief

India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has completed more than 9,000 orbits around the Moon, and imaging and scientific instruments on board have been providing excellent data, officials said on Monday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is holding a two-day Lunar Science Workshop 2021, which began on Monday, to commemorate the completion of two years of operation of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft around the lunar orbit.

The moon lander Vikram (in the foreground) and orbiter (in the back ground), part of the Chandrayaan 2 mission, in a clean room at ISRO, Bengaluru. Image: Getty

The moon lander Vikram (in the foreground) and orbiter (in the back ground), part of the Chandrayaan 2 mission, in a clean room at ISRO, Bengaluru. Image: Getty

In his inaugural address, ISRO Chairman, K Sivan said the eight payloads onboard the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are conducting remote sensing and in-situ observations of the Moon at around 100 km altitude from the lunar surface.

“Till date, the Chandrayaan-2 has completed more than 9,000 orbits around the Moon,” added Sivan, also Secretary in the Department of Space (DoS).

According to the Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO, data product and science documents were released by Sivan, along with data from Chandrayaan-2 orbiter payloads.

“The science data are being made available for analysis by academia and institutes, for a greater participation to bring out more science from Chandrayaan-2 mission,” ISRO said.

Sivan said he has reviewed the science results, and found them to be “very much encouraging”.

Chairman of Apex Science Board, ISRO, A S Kiran Kumar said the imaging and scientific instruments on board the Chandrayaan-2 satellite have been providing excellent data.

“Chandrayaan-2 has really incorporated many new features in its instruments which are taking the observations carried out on Chandrayaan-1 to a newer and higher level,” added Kiran Kumar, a former ISRO Chairman.

Project Director of Chandrayaan-2, Vanitha M, said all the sub-systems of the orbiter were performing well.

“We hope that we can get good data from the spacecraft for many more years,” she said.

Vanitha said the imaging payloads of the orbiter — TMC-2 (Terrain Mapping Camera-2), IIRS (Imaging IR Spectrometer) and OHRC (Orbiter High Resolution Camera) have sent us breath-taking pictures of the Moon.

The two-day workshop, organised by ISRO, is being live-streamed on the space agency’s website and Facebook page, for effectively reaching the students, academia and institutes, and to engage the scientific community to analyse Chandrayaan-2 data, an ISRO statement said.

The science results from the eight payloads are being presented by the scientists in the workshop being held virtually.

In addition, there will be lectures on the Chandrayaan-2 mission, tracking, operations, and data archival aspects.

Along with the scientists from ISRO/DoS, there will also be lectures on lunar science to be delivered by scientists from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, it was stated.