Between 1958 and 1976, the Soviets sent several orbiters, landers and rovers to the Moon as part of their Luna, Zond and Lunakohd programmes.
The first de-orbiting maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today beginning at 0850 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system.
The $145m (£116m) mission was launched on 22 July and Indian officials hope it will be the first to ever land on the Moon's south pole.
'The Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter continues to orbit the Moon in its existing orbit.
The government had earlier announced a quiz on space technology, whose winners will get a chance to watch live the Chandrayaan 2 moon mission spacecraft make a soft landing on the lunar soil in September. The first one of 109 X 220-kilo meter around the moon was completed by it in four seconds at 8:50 hours now. The cameras are to identify the different elements in the regolith on the surface of the moon.
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Chandrayaan-2 managed to successfully enter the Moon's orbit on the morning of August 20 and ISRO had later released a statement confirming the Lunar Orbit Insertion of Chandrayaan-2 at 9.02 am.
'All the systems of Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter and Lander are healthy'. Inside the Vikram lander is the Pragyan Rover, which will exit after a soft landing. However, Sivan said, "We can not assure you that it will happen". Detecting the presence of water and other minerals is one of the primary missions of the rover.
If things go as planned and ISRO succeeds in soft-landing on the Moon, it will boost India's image in the global arena and show to the world how a "so-called developing nation" has perfected space technologies developed by it, he said.
A successful mission will make India the fourth country after Russian Federation, the U.S. and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon. Its permanently shadowed craters are estimated to hold almost 100 million tons of water.
The "terrifying 15 minutes" often reiterated by Isro chairman K. Sivan is scheduled to begin at 1.40 am on Saturday, September 7, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi viewing from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISTRAC (Isro's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network) facility in Bengaluru.