CHENNAI: ISRO has announced that it has successfully performed the first earth-bound orbit-raising maneuver of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft. The operation was done at 2.52 Wednesday afternoon.
Scientists fired the on-board propulsion system for 48 seconds to power the spacecraft into a new orbit. The second orbit raising would be done on July 26.
“Four earth-bound maneuvers are planned, on July 26, July 29, August 2 and August 6,” ISRO said. “The Trans Lunar Insertion is scheduled on August 14, which will send the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to moon.”
This will be followed by lunar bound maneuvers, separation of the Vikram Lander and touchdown. The rocket successfully placed Chandrayaan-2 in a highly elliptical orbit on July 22 (170 x 45475 km). Now it has been raised to a new orbit (230 X 45163 km) where it will stay for about 36 hours before the next maneuver. If things go as planned, Pragyan Rover, being carried inside the Vikram Lander, will crawl on moon’s surface by September 6-7. Chandrayaan-2 is likely to reach the moon by August 20, says experts.