Chandrayaan-2 headed onwards on its path to the moon after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) early Wednesday successfully carried out a crucial process to manoeuvre India’s second lunar probe out of the earth’s orbit.
The space agency said as planned it carried out the manoeuvre called Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) at 2.21 am today.
“The final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully carried out today at 02:21 am IST. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft’s liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory,” ISRO said in a statement.
After it was launched on July 22, the spacecraft’s orbit was progressively increased five times from July 23 to August 6.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon’s orbit on August 20
The spacecraft’s liquid engine will be fired again to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit.
“Following this, there will be further four orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon’s surface,” the space agency said.
On September 7, the spacecraft’s lander, Vikram, is expected to soft-land on the south pole of the moon and unleash the rover to explore the surface.
“The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from 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 said.
Since its launch by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, all systems onboard Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are performing normal, the space agency said.