Chandrayaan-2 Successfully Enters Lunar Transfer Trajectory: ISRO

James Marshall
August 14, 2019

The launch of Chandrayaan-2 on board GSLVMkIII-M1 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Nellore district, Tamil Nadu.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 was successfully carried out at 2.21am by firing the spacecraft's motors for 1,203 seconds.

India's spacecraft to the moon Chandrayaan-2 on Wednesday successfully entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory (LTT) after its orbit was raised further, said Indian space agency. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory. An orbit raising manoeuvre is the process of raising a satellite into an orbit towards to Moon, while it still revolves around the Earth.

ISRO said the spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired again to insert it into lunar orbit as it approaches the moon on August 20. Out of 3,850kg (launch) mass of Chandrayaan-2, 2.542kg is just the weight of fuel.

Chandrayaan 2, India's ambitious mission to the moon, on Wednesday left the earth's orbit.

In a giant leap for the country's ambitious low-priced space programme, ISRO's most powerful three-stage rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 had launched the spacecraft into the orbit of the Earth on July 22 from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. "We will do five to six manoeuvres to reduce its orbit".

Subsequently, Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 02, 2019. It is expected to soft land on moon on September 7.

ISRO has called the mission its most complex and prestigious mission ever. The spacecraft has been consistently progressing as planned and is now moving straight towards the Moon.

Following this, Chandrayaan-2 will have to complete four more manoeuvres after reaching the Moon's orbit on August 20. During its lifespan of one lunar day (14 Earth days), Pragyan will move up to 500 metre on the lunar surface. It will take images and analyse content on the lunar surface and send back data via Vikram or the orbiter to Earth within 15 minutes. "Two orbit maneuvers will be performed on the lander before the initiation of powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 07, 2019", it added. A passive payload of Nasa, Laser Retroreflector Array, attached to Vikram will calculate the distance between the Earth and Moon and help detect the exact location of the lander on Moon.

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