The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday said the first earth bound orbit-raising manoeuvre for Chandryaan-2 was performed successfully.
India had on Monday launched 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 Chandrayaan-2, a three-module spacecraft comprising orbiter, lander and rover, was injected into the earth’s orbit. GSLV MKIII M1 successfully placed Chandrayaan – 2 spacecraft into a highly elliptical orbit of 170 x 45475 km on July 22.
It will be subjected to a series of orbit manoeuvres in the coming weeks to take it to the vicinity of moon, with the rover soft landing planned on September 7.
Wednesday’s manoeuvre has placed the spacecraft into a new orbit of 230 X 45163 km.
“First earth bound orbit-raising manoeuvre for Chandryaan-2 spacecraft has been performed successfully today (July 24, 2019) at 1452 hrs (IST) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 57 seconds,” ISRO said in a statement.
The second orbit raising manoeuvre is scheduled on July 26, 2019, at 1:09 am, it added.
Several earth bound manoeuvres are planned to be executed from today onwards culminating into Trans Lunar Insertion scheduled on August 14, 2019, which will send the Chandrayaan – 2 spacecraft to moon.
Besides earth bound manoeuvres, the mission plan of Chandrayaan-2 includes Trans Lunar Insertion, Lunar bound manoeuvres, Vikram Separation and Vikram Touch Down.
In a giant leap for the country’s ambitious low-cost space programme, ISRO has undertaken the most complex and its prestigious mission ever aiming to land the rover on the moon.
If successful, it will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon.
The ISRO is aiming for a soft landing of the lander (spacecraft) in the South Pole region of the moon where no country has gone so far. Immediately after Chandrayaan-2’s separation from the rocket, the solar array of the spacecraft automatically got deployed and the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru successfully took control of the spacecraft, the ISRO has said.