Updated: August 2, 2019 8:48:50 pm
The orbit of Chandrayaan-2, India’s lunar mission, around the Earth was raised for the fourth time Friday since its launch on July 22 and all its parameters are normal, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
ISRO said in a statement, “The fourth orbit-raising manoeuvre was performed “successfully today as planned using onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 646 seconds.”
The next orbit raising manoeuvre is scheduled for August 6.
Chandrayaan-2, the 3,850-kg three-module spacecraft was launched into an elliptical orbit around the Earth, with the aim of landing a rover on the South Pole of the moon. The rover is scheduled to land on the lunar surface on September 7.
India will become the fourth nation after Russia, US and China to make a soft landing on the moon if the mission is successfully implemented.
Today’s orbit raising is the fourth of 15 such critical manoeuvres planned by the ISRO to make a landing on the moon, which is approximately four lakh kilometres away from the Earth.
The previous orbit raising manoeuvres were carried out successfully on July 24, July 26 and July 29.
ISRO said that the spacecraft’s nearest point to the Earth (or perigee) was 277 km whereas the farthest point was 89,472 km.
ISRO said that the onboard propulsion system of Chandrayaan-2 will be fired to slow down the spacecraft on entering the moon’s sphere of influence, hence enabling it to be captured into a preliminary orbit around the moon. The orbit would later be circularised through a set of manoeuvres at a height of 100 km from the surface of the moon.
The Lander will then separate from the Orbiter and enter a 100 km*30 km orbit around the moon and perform a series of “complex braking” manoeuvres to soft-land on the South pole of the moon on September 7.
After landing, the Rover will roll out from the Lander and carry out experiments on the surface of the moon for a period of one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 Earth days.
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 is aimed at developing and demonstrating key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft landing and roving on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-1, ISRO’s first successful lunar mission made history 11 years ago when it orbited around the Moon for 312 days.
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