Indian Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft enters Lunar Transfer Trajectory

India’s second moon mission ‘Chandrayaan-2’ left the earth’s orbit early on Wednesday

Sriharikota: India's ambitious lunar mission Chandrayan-2 has left earth's orbit today and is now headed towards the moon.

Indian space engineers will have a tense time until August 20 when the Moon Mission Chandrayaan-2 that was set on a course to leave the Earth gravitational field early on Wednesday gains lunar orbit. By this manoeuvre, the Chandrayaan-2 will leave the earth and move towards the moon. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft's liquid engine was sacked for about 1203 seconds.

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. As per the plan, the module would be placed in an orbit which passes over the lunar poles at a distance of 100 kms from the moon's surface.

As per ISRO's schedule, the Vikram lander will attempt a soft-landing on the moon on 7 September, and open its hatch for the Pragyan rover to take its first few rolls onto lunar soil four hours later. The spacecraft is being monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru. On 20 August, he will reach the moon's orbit. If the planting is successful, India will become the fourth country after the USSR, USA and China, which was able to land a spacecraft on the surface of the moon. Then the Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to the lunar South Pole. ISRO will undertake four-orbit manoeuvres to progressively give the orbit a circular form with the final one intended on September 1 expected to put it on an orbit with 114km perigee and 128km apogee.

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

The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day. According to ISRO, at around 3.30 on Wednesday morning we made a significant change, which is called trans-lunar injection.

The mission was originally targeted to launch in 2011 as a joint Indian-Russian venture, with the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, providing the lunar Lander while the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) provided the Orbiter and the Rover.

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