Bengaluru: India’s Chandrayaan-2 satellite is moving towards the moon following the successful completion of a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday.
The satellite has carried out a manoeuvre called ‘Trans Lunar Insertion’ (TLI) at 2:21 am on Wednesday, following which the spacecraft has successfully entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon’s orbit on August 20 and land on lunar surface on September 7.
Earlier, the spacecraft’s orbit was progressively increased five times between July 23 and August 6.
The spacecraft will approach the moon on August 20 and then the spacecraft’s liquid engine will be fired again to insert it into lunar orbit.
In a giant leap for the country’s ambitious low-cost 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.
According to ISRO, after 13 days of Moon-bound orbit phase, the lander ‘Vikram’ carrying rover ‘Pragyan’ will separate and after another few days of orbiting will soft land on September 7 in the South Pole region of the Moon, where no country has gone so far, according to the ISRO.
If successful, the mission will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the Moon.