Chandrayaan-2 to reach moon's orbit after six days

An orbit-raising diagram for Chandrayaan 2. Image ISRO

The final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 was successfully carried out at 2.21 am.

The Indian space agency said the major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, the trans-lunar insertion, lunar-bound manoeuvres, Vikram's separation from Chandrayaan-2 and touch down on the Moon's South Pole. "Earlier, the spacecraft's orbit was progressively increased five times during July 23 to August 6, 2019", ISRO added.

All eyes were set on the spacecraft, as Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Sivan and other scientists including a former chairman, keenly tracked its progress and health at the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru. ISRO's most powerful three-stage rocket GSLV-MK III-M1 launched Chandrayaan-2 from Sriharikota Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh on July 22.

Chandrayaan-2 will approach Moon on August 20, 2019 and the spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired again to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit. Now, the spacecraft will travel in a straight path to reach the lunar orbit.

Bengaluru | India's Chandrayaan-2 has left Earth's orbit on Wednesday and is moving towards the mission's goal, the Moon.

The ISRO said that as planned it carried out the manoeuvre called Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) at 2.21 am on Wednesday. It comprises a fully indigenous orbiter, a lander (Vikram) and a rover (Pragyan).

Chandrayaan-2 is the country's second mission to the moon.

After leaving the earth's orbit and upon entering the moon's sphere of influence, the onboard propulsion system of Chandrayaan-2 will be fired to slow down the spacecraft, which will enable it to be captured into a preliminary orbit around the moon, the ISRO said. A passive experiment from NASA will also be carried onboard Chandrayaan-2, ISRO has said. The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year.

The almost 150 million USA dollars worth of Moon Mission aims at gathering data on water, minerals and rock formations on the lunar surface.

According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 is the most challenging mission ever attempted by the space agency.

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