Chandrayaan-2 will reach Moon's orbit on Aug 20: Isro

Space agency raises Mission's orbit in first earth-bound manoeuvre

The orbit-raising manoeuvre is an operation that effectively puts the spacecraft into a higher orbit. This operation carried out by firing the engines onboard Chandrayaan-2 will help the Mission get closer to the Moon. 

India's most ambitious lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 will reach the Moon's orbit on August 20, says the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). On Wednesday, two days after the Mission's launch from Sriharikota, the space agency raised its orbit in the first Earth-bound manoeuvre. 

The orbit-raising manoeuvre is an operation that effectively puts the spacecraft into a higher orbit. This operation carried out by firing the engines onboard Chandrayaan-2 will help the Mission get closer to the Moon. 

An Isro statement elaborated: “First earthbound orbit-raising manoeuvre for Chandryaan-2 spacecraft has been performed successfully at 2.52 pm as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 57 seconds.”

The Mission carries an Orbiter, a Lander called Vikram and a Rover, Pragyaan. Isro has scheduled a total of four orbit-raising manoeuvres around the Earth before the Mission begins its week-long journey to the Moon. 

After the first orbit-raising manoeuvre, Chandrayaan-2 now revolves around the Earth in a new orbit of  230 X 45,163 km. Isro has scheduled the second orbit-raising on July 26 at 1.09 am. 

On Monday, GSLV Mk III had blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, placing the spacecraft into a highly elliptical orbit of 170 X 45,475 kilometres. 

Once the Earthbound manoeuvres are completed, more complex measures await the Mission: Trans Lunar Insertion, Lunar bound manoeuvres, the Lander Vikram's separation from the Orbiter and the critical soft-landing on the lunar South pole, likely to take place on September 7.

After the first launch on July 15 was aborted in the last-hour due to a technical snag, Isro had rescheduled the launch on July 22. Although Isro has maintained that the delay will not change the soft-landing date of September 6/7, the Mission's Earthbound phase has gone up from 17 to 23 days.

However, the lunar-bound phase, which was initially planned for 28 days, is now down to 13 days. The launch to landing period has also been reduced from 54 days to 48 days.

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