CHENNAI: Scientists have successfully carried out the ‘crucial’ second orbit-raising maneuver on Chandrayaan-2. Officials said the onboard propulsion system was fired for a duration of 883 seconds at 1.08 am on Friday to achieve higher orbit of 251 km perigee (point of orbit closest to the earth) and 54829 km apogee (point of orbit farthest to the earth). The first maneuver was carried out on Wednesday.
ISRO said the third orbit-raising maneuver is scheduled on July 29 between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm. The Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) of Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled on August 14, which will send the spacecraft to Moon and beginning of crucial phase of the mission. The spacecraft will perform a series of TLI burns for raising its apogee successively, to reach the vicinity of the Moon orbit.
As the Moon’s location is continuously changing due to orbital motion, the intersection of Chandrayaan-2 and the Moon’s path, has to be predicted sufficiently in advance with a high level of accuracy. As the Moon approaches the apogee of Chandrayaan-2, on-board thrusters fire precisely to reduce its velocity for lunar capture. The margin of error in these calculations and maneuvers is very narrow, officials said.