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Chandrayaan-2 moves closer to Moon, third orbit manoeuvre successful

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Aug 28: Chandrayaan-2's orbit was on Wednesday lowered further, taking it closer to the moon. It is now in the 179 km x 1412 km orbit around the Moon. Chandrayaan-2 spent nearly 23 days revolving around earth, and on August 14, left earth's orbit when ISRO put the spacecraft into a lunar transfer trajectory.

Today's orbital manoeuvre is the third one after being put in the lunar orbit. Two more similar manoeuvres remain before the Chandrayaan-2 will be put in a near circular orbit of 114 km x 128 km around the Moon.

Representational Image

"Third Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (August 28, 2019) at 0904 hrs IST," ISRO tweeted.

All spacecraft parameters are normal. The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on August 30, 2019 between 1800 - 1900 hrs IST, ISRO sais on its website.

Once in the circular orbit, the lander Vikram will separate from the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft. This is expected to happen on September 2. While the orbiter will continue revolving around the Moon, the Vikram Lander along with lunar probe Pragyan will descend near Moon's South Pole.

[Chandrayaan 2: Why orbit maneuvers and why not direct straight path from Earth to Moon?]

Before being put in Moon's orbit, the spacecraft went around the earth five times. ISRO on Wednesday performed the second lunar-bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

If all goes as planned, the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2 when ISRO will begin its powered descent to make a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7. This will be the first time that Indian scientists will attempt a soft landing on the moon, a feat achieved so far by only the US, Russia and China.

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