India's ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 has left the earth's orbit today and is heading to the moon after a crucial maneuver by the Indian Space Research Organization.
The satellite is another step closer to the month after the "Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) maneuver was successfully carried out at 2.21 am as planned", the space agency said.
"The final orbit raising of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft maneuver was successfully carried out today at 02:21 am IST. During this maneuver, the liquid spacecraft engine was fired for approximately 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory, "ISRO said in a statement. An orbital maneuver is the process of lifting a satellite in an orbit toward the moon, while still rotating around the globe.
The Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) was conducted today (August 14, 2019) at 0221 hours of IST as planned. – ISRO (@isro) August 13, 2019
A happy ISRO leader, Dr K Sivan, told NDTV: "The firing needs to be as accurate and complete as it is today from a distance of 276 kilometers from the ground – where midnight operations are being conducted on Chandrayaan 2 – it will now go for a long lunar marathon of 3.84 lakh km to the moon. "
" The whole process is very complicated because Chandrayaan 2 is given a land departure at speeds of 39,240 kilometers per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which the sound travels through the air, "he said. Even a small mistake could make Chandrayaan 2 miss the moon, he added.
Chandrayaan 2, billed as ISRO's most complex and prestigious mission, will make India the fourth country to soften the ground of a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, the US and China. The last country to attempt a soft landing on the moon, Israel, failed in its attempt earlier this year.
The mission stands out because of the low cost, with some Rs. 1,000 crore was spent on preparing for the mission – a smaller price tag compared to similar missions in other countries.
The spacecraft's orbit "gradually increased fivefold" between July 23 and August 6 after India's second lunar mission was launched on July 22 from its launch pad in Sriharikota of Andhra Pradesh in July 22.
The lift was successful in its second attempt, a week after its collapse just under an hour from its launch due to a technical glitch. The 3.8 ton satellite will now cruise for the next six days and is expected to reach the moon's orbit by August 20.
As the spacecraft approaches the moon on August 20, the liquid engine will fire again to enter it is in lunar orbit, ISRO said. "Subsequently, there will be four orbits to make the spacecraft enter the final orbit, passing lunar poles at a distance of nearly 100 km from the moon's surface," it said.
After 13 days of fixed moon orbit phase, the spacecraft will contact Vikram, a 1.4-ton lander, which will set a 27-kilogram rover Pragyan on a high plain between two craters at lunar southern pole, where no country has been to today, according to the ISRO. It is expected to soften the ground by September 7.
After the landing, the follower conducts experiments on the moon for a lunar day, which equals 14 days. The life of the landlord's mission is also a lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for one year.
The mission of Chandrayaan 2 aims to expand the knowledge of the moon, leading to a better understanding of its origin and evolution.
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