The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is already having a big week. The Chandrayan-2 spacecraft successfully orbited the moon a few days ago, which is the highlight of a mission that could turn India into the fourth country on Earth to successfully launch a soft landing on the moon. Now that the spacecraft has been conveniently circling around the tiny neighbor on Earth, ISRO has just released the first moon photo snapped by the lander.
The photo was tweeted by ISRO earlier today as the group prepares for the final test, which will be landing near the south pole of the moon.
This is a fantastic photo, complete with labels for the Apollo Crater as well as the Mare Orientale basin, and gives us a good idea of what the earth can see as it orbits the moon. As ISRO points out in the description of the photo, the image was taken at an altitude of approximately 2650 km from the surface, which is approximately 1
There is still much work to be done for ISRO and the engineers involved in the mission, but definitely approaching the finish line. The landing is expected to land on the moon on September 7, and the ISRO team will spend the next few weeks ensuring that the spacecraft is in perfect position to complete its latest maneuvers.
If the group can pull it off, India will be the fourth country to perform such a feat. If things went more smoothly for Israeli Bereshet land, India would only be able to take the number five spot on the list, but since Bereshet crashed on the moon's surface and not land safely, the slot for number four was still ready to grip. India will join the list with the US, USSR and China.