Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Chandrayaan-2 successfully leaves earth orbit, begins journey to the moon

Chandrayaan-2 successfully leaves earth orbit, begins journey to the moon

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. After a 20-minute burning of the liquid engine, Isro (Indian Space Research Organisation) at 2.20am declared that the critical Trans-Lunar Insertion (TLI) operation a success.

Isro is scheduled to carry out the TLI between between 3 and 4 am to send the Chandrayaan - 2 spacecraft to the moon.

Chandrayaan-2 will approach Moon on August 20, 2019 and the spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired again to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit.

India's second lunar mission "Chandrayaan-2" left Earth's orbit and began its journey to the Moon.

Since it's launch, Chandrayaan-2 has performed orbit-raising maneuvers five times between 23 July and 6 August.

"Since its launch on July 22 all systems onboard Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft are performing normally", the ISRO said. The ISRO will now carry out lunar orbit insertion. As per the plan, the module would be placed in an orbit which passes over the lunar poles at a distance of 100 kms from the moon's surface.

Chandrayaan-2, billed as ISRO's most complex and prestigious mission, will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China. Now, the spacecraft will travel in a straight path to reach the lunar orbit. Then the Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to the lunar South Pole. Chandrayaan 2 will have to slow itself down just enough using its thrusters to fall into the moon's reach - gravitationally speaking.

Since Chandrayaan-2 took off to the skies aboard the powerful GSLV Mk-III rocket, all spacecraft systems are normal.

According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 is the most challenging mission ever attempted by the space agency.

Following the landing, the rover will roll out from the lander and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days. No country has reached this part of the moon so far.

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