India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 has left the Earth’s orbit and started its journey towards the moon.
Chandrayaan 2 completed the crucial Trans Lunar Insertion manoeuvre at 2.21 am on Wednesday, following which the spacecraft has been put in the path of the moon. The next phase is the Lunar Transfer Trajectory. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said that the spacecraft is functioning normally after the operation. If everything happens according to the plan, the spacecraft will reach the moon’s orbit on August 20 and land on the lunar surface on September 7.
“During the final orbit raising of the spacecraft around the earth, the liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory,” the Bengaluru- headquartered the space agency said. The orbit-raising manoeuvre involves raising a satellite into an orbit, while it is still revolving around the earth.
“The firing had to be precise and totally accurate as now from a distance of 276 kilometres from earth – where the midnight operation was conducted on Chandrayaan 2 – it will now head for a long lunar marathon of 3.84 lakh km to the moon,” ISRO chief K Sivan stated.
“The whole process is very complex since Chandrayaan 2 has been imparted an earth leaving velocity of 39,240 kilometres per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air, ” he further added.
Chandrayaan 2, touted as India’s complex and ambitious mission to the moon, will place the country on the list of countries that have successfully soft landed a rover on the lunar surface. The US, Russia, and China are the only countries to have achieved this feat. Earlier this year, Israel had failed in its attempt to soft land its spacecraft on the moon.