Chandrayaan-2 Leaves Earth's Orbit, Heads Towards Moon

Isro Chairman K Sivan along with other officials

"Today (August 14, 2019) after the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre operation, #Chandrayaan2 will depart from Earth's orbit and move towards the Moon (sic)", it said.

If all goes as planned, Vikram Lander would separate from the orbiter on September 2 when ISRO would begin its powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7.

ISRO sources said the final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 was successfully carried out at 02:21 hrs early this morning.

Chandrayaan 2 fired the spacecraft's liquid engine for 1,203 seconds, making it head to the moon on the 23rd day of its launch after a 22-day detour into Earth's orbit.

A series of orbit manoeuvres was carried out using Chandrayaan-2's onboard propulsion system to raise the spacecraft orbit in steps and then place it in the Lunar Transfer Trajectory to enable the spacecraft to travel to the vicinity of the moon. "Earlier, the spacecraft's orbit was progressively increased five times during July 23 to August 06, 2019", ISRO said.

The orbiter carries eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and study the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon while the lander carries three scientific payloads to conduct surface and subsurface science experiments. Here, the liquid engine will be fired again to ensure that after reorientation, the spacecraft can slow down and insert itself into an orbit around the Moon.

The ISRO said that as planned it carried out the manoeuvre called Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) at 2.21 am on Wednesday.

India will be the first country to land on South Pole lunar region. The mission, if successful, will make India the fourth country after Russian Federation, the U.S. and China to make a soft landing on the moon.

Chandrayaan-2 was initially scheduled to launch on 15 July, but was called off due to a technical snag in its launch vehicle system.

The rover carries two payloads to enhance the understanding of the lunar surface.

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

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



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