New Delhi: Chandrayaan-2, India's second moon spacecraft put into earth's orbit on July 22, has successfully completed its second earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvre, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) confirmed.
It was "performed successfully today (July 26, 2019) at 0108 hrs (IST) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 883 seconds. The orbit achieved is 251 x 54829 km. All spacecraft parameters are normal," ISRO tweeted.
The first manoeuvre was performed on July 24. The third is scheduled on July 29, between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm (IST). The spacecraft is expected to reach the moon by August 20.
The country's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 onboard the powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The mission is to land a rover in the unexplored lunar south pole.
There will be a series of orbit manoeuvres in the coming weeks to take it to the vicinity of the moon, with the rover soft landing planned on September 7.
"Further major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, Trans Lunar Insertion, Lunar bound manoeuvres, Vikram Separation and Vikram Touch Down," the space agency said.
As per the schedule, Vikram, the moonlander will soft-land on the moon, and then Pragyaan will roll out to explore the moon surface.
The ISRO is aiming for a soft landing of the lander (spacecraft) in the South Pole region of the moon where no country has gone so far.
The space agency said the earth-bound manoeuvres are planned for execution from Wednesday onwards. This will culminate then into the Trans Lunar Insertion scheduled on August 14, 2019, which will send the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to the moon.
In a giant leap for the country's ambitious low-cost space programme, ISRO has undertaken the most complex and its prestigious mission ever aimed at landing the rover on the moon. If successful, it will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon.
(With inputs from IANS)