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Chandrayaan 2 heading towards the Moon

August 15, 2019

Chandrayaan 2, India's ambitious lunar mission programme, has left the Earth's orbit and is headed towards the Moon after a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The satellite is another step closer to the Moon after the "Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre was carried out successfully as planned", the space agency said.

"During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft's liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory," ISRO said in a statement. An orbit-raising manoeuvre is the process of raising a satellite into an orbit towards the moon, while it still revolves around the earth.

ISRO Chief, Dr K Sivan told the media,

The firing had to be precise and totally accurate as now from a distance of 276 kilometres from earth - where the midnight operation was conducted on Chandrayaan 2 - it will now head for a long lunar marathon of 3.84 lakh km to the moon. The whole process is very complex since Chandrayaan 2 has been imparted an earth leaving velocity of 39,240 kilometres per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air. - Dr K Sivan, Chief, Indian Space Research Organisation

This is the ISRO's most difficult mission and if it is successful, it will make India the fourth country to land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, United States and China. The mission is being closely watched because of the low cost. India has spent about ₹ 1,000 crore on preparations, which is much smaller than similar missions by other countries.

The lift off was successful in its second attempt, a week after it was aborted just under an hour due to a technical glitch. The satellite is expected to reach the moon's orbit on 20 August.

After the landing, the rover carry out experiments on moon's surface for one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days. The Chandrayaan 2 mission aims to expand the knowledge about the moon, leading to a better understanding of its origin and evolution.

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