Chandrayaan 2: Second orbit-raising of composite completed successfully, ISRO confirms

The spacecraft was functioning normally, ISRO reported, with the next orbit-raising expected on 29 July.


The second earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvre of the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft has been successfully performed early on Friday morning, the Indian Space Research Organisation confirmed in tweet.

The manoeuvre was carried out at 1.08 pm using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 883 seconds, a day after the first orbit-raising was completed, placing the spacecraft in a 230 X 45163 km orbit (nearest x furthest Earth-bound altitude), according to ISRO. The final orbit achieved by the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft after the second orbit-raising is 251 x 54829 km.

ISRO also reported that all the spacecraft parameters were normal, and the third orbit-raising is scheduled for the early hours on 29 July, Monday at about 2.30-3.30 pm IST.

Chandrayaan 2: Second orbit-raising of composite completed successfully, ISRO confirms

India had on Monday launched the country's second moon mission Chandrayaan 2 on-board its powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with the aim of landing a rover in the unexplored lunar south pole. The 3,850-kg, Rs 978-crore spacecraft is a three-module composite made up of an orbiter, lander, and rover.

The composite will be subjected to a series of orbit manoeuvres over the coming weeks to take it to the vicinity of the moon, with the rover soft landing planned on September 7.

(Also read: Chandrayaan 2: A step-by-step look at the 47-day journey after its spectacularly successful launch)

"Further major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, Trans Lunar Insertion, Lunar bound manoeuvres, Vikram Separation and Vikram Touch Down," the space agency said.

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 landing site of the mission is closer to the South Pole than any mission before it.

ISRO said that the earth-bound manoeuvres are planned from 24 July onwards, culminating in the fifth and final orbit-raising on 14 August 2019, setting Chandrayaan 2 on its way to the moon.

ISRO has called the mission its most complex and prestigious mission ever. If successful, Chandrayaan 2 will propel India to an elite list of four nations (including Russia, the US and China) that have pulled off a soft-landing on the moon.

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