Sriharikota : India’s ambitious lunar mission Chandrayan-2 has left earth’s orbit today and is now headed towards the moon. The satellite is another step closer to the moon after the “Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre was carried out successfully at 2:21 am as planned”, the space agency said.
“The final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayan-2 spacecraft was successfully carried out today at 02:21 am IST. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft’s liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory,” ISRO said in a statement. An orbit-raising manoeuvre is the process of raising a satellite into an orbit towards the moon, while it still revolves around the earth.
Chandrayan-2, billed as ISRO’s most complex and prestigious mission, will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, US and China. The last nation to attempt a soft landing on the moon, Israel, failed in its maiden attempt earlier this year.
The mission stands out because of its low cost, with some Rs 1000 crore spent on preparations for the mission – a much smaller price tag compared to similar missions by other countries.