Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth’s orbit, heads for the moon

  • Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth’s orbit, heads for the moon

Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth’s orbit, heads for the moon

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

It was held after the spacecraft raised five orbits around the earth between July 23 to August 6.

"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. The spacecraft has been consistently progressing as planned and is now moving straight towards the Moon. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft's liquid engine was sacked for about 1203 seconds.

Chandrayaan-2, billed as ISRO's most complex and prestigious mission, will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China.

All the systems onboard the spacecraft are normal, confirmed the premier space agency which has been monitoring the health of the module continuously from the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with the support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru. The spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired to insert Chandrayaan-2 into the impending lunar orbit.

India's most challenging mission till date, Chandrayaan-2 was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22 using the powerful Geostationary satellite launch vehicle (GSLV)-Mk-111 M-1.

Illustration of the orbit-raising of the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft in its Earth-bound phase.

The Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2, 2019. If successful, Chandrayaan 2 will propel India to an elite list of four nations (including Russian Federation, the USA and China) that have pulled off a soft-landing on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 is loaded with 13 desi payloads that will do a detailed study of topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics of top soil and composition of the tenuous lunar atmosphere for a new understanding of the origin and evolution of Moon.

The spacecraft comprises three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander "Vikram" (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover "Pragyan" (27 kg, two payloads).