Chandrayaan-2 leaves Earth’s orbit

The spacecraft is expected to reach the Moon’s orbit on Aug 20 and land on its surface on Sept 7

Bengaluru, August 14

Three weeks after its launch, India's Chandrayaan-2 left the earth's orbit and started moving towards the Moon after a crucial manoeuvre carried out by ISRO scientists in the dark hours of Wednesday.

The spacecraft, now on “Lunar Transfer Trajectory”, is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20 with the soft landing of rover on the lunar surface planned on September 7.

The Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it carried out the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre at 02:21 am IST as planned, following which the Chandrayaan-2 has successfully entered the “Lunar Transfer Trajectory”.

“Today (August 14, 2019) after the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre operation, #Chandrayaan2 will depart from Earth's orbit and move towards the Moon,” ISRO tweeted along with a photo of its Chairman K Sivan and other top officials at the Control Centre in ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here. During the orbit raising manoeuvre on Wednesday, the spacecraft's liquid engine was fired for about 1,203 seconds. “With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory,” ISRO said in an update about the mission.

The health of the spacecraft is being “continuously monitored” from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISTRAC with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru, it said, adding “Since its launch on July 22 all systems onboard Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are performing normal.” — PTI

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