3rd orbit-raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 completed

4th step on August 2; mission to land on moon on September 7

Credits: ISRO/Twitter

India’s most ambitious lunar mission is well on course to the Moon. On Monday afternoon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully completed the third of its five scheduled orbit-raising manoeuvres. The Mission is still in the Earth-bound phase.

In a tweet, Isro announced that the maneouvre was performed at 3.12 pm as planned. The orbit-raising was carried out using the Mission’s onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 989 seconds (about 16 minutes). The new orbit achieved is 276 x 71,792 km (nearest x furthest Earth-bound altitude).

The space agency declared that all spacecraft parameters are normal. The fourth orbit-raising maneouvre has been scheduled for August 2 between 2 pm and 3 pm. Before Monday’s maneouvre, the second orbit-raising had pushed Chandrayaan-2 to 251 x 54,829 km.

Chandrayaan-2, launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22, is scheduled to 
enter the Moon’s orbit on 
August 20.

Rs 978-crore mission

Once the Lander, Vikram, separates from the Orbiter part of the Mission, a record-making soft-landing on the Moon’s South Pole 
has been planned on September 7. If the Rs 978-crore Mission succeeds, India would emerge as the fourth nation to do so after the United States, the erstwhile Soviet Union and China.

Israel had made an unsuccessful attempt. Isro chairman K Sivan had said the final 15 seconds on September 7 would be extremely critical to record India’s signature on the lunar surface.

The Orbiter, originally planned to go around the Moon at an altitude of 100 km for an year, is now said to have enough fuel to stay in orbit for two years. Weighing 2,370 kg and generating 1,000 watts of power, the Orbiter will map the moon and send images to Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu near Bengaluru.

It will also be in constant communcation with the Lander, although the Rover Pragya will cease to operate after one lunar day equivalent to 14 Earth days.

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