Of all five Earth-capable maneuvers successfully completed as planned, India's Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will change trajectories tomorrow (August 14, 2019). The Lunar Transfer Injection (LTI), scheduled between 3:00 to 4:00 IST (21:30 UTC August 13) will board the spacecraft in a highly elliptical orbit specifically aimed at the moon. .
Chandrayaan-2 was launched. by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on July 22, 2019. The 8,488-pound (3850-kg) spacecraft has been subjected to multiple orbiting maneuvers that increased its height and reduced the influence of Earth's gravity in spacecraft. The fifth and final maneuver was conducted on August 6, 2019. According to a statement from ISRO:
The fifth ground orbit increase maneuver for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully performed today (August 6, 2019 ) at 1504 hours (IST) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing of 1041 seconds. The orbit achieved is 276 x 14,2975 km. All spacecraft parameters are normal.
The next maneuver is the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI), scheduled for August 14, 2019, between 0300 – 0400 hrs (IST).
On August 14, spacecraft propulsion systems fire again at a specific point in its orbit around the Earth. This burning is precisely timed so that the help provided in Chandrayaan-2 targets the spacecraft not where the moon is at the time of the burn, but where it is in the near future. This calculation should be quite accurate because a massive burn may fly into the spacecraft past the moon's orbit, and a burn that will not reach the moon.
A successful LTI will take Chandrayaan-2 close to the moon and allow it to enter the moon's orbit on August 20, 2019. And 48 days after launch, the spacecraft is expected to soften on the south pole of the month of September 7.
Here are some of the first images captured by Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander:
Follow the mission of Chandrayaan-2 on Facebook and Twitter
Vote line: Chandrayaan-2 is still orbiting the Earth. On August 14, it will land on a path to the moon.