India’s second moon mission ‘Chandrayaan-2’ left the earth’s orbit early on Wednesday, 23 days after being launched, and is moving towards the moon following the successful completion of a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency said it has carried out a manoeuvre called ‘Trans Lunar Insertion’ (TLI) at 2:21 am on Wednesday, following which the spacecraft has successfully entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory.
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After 13 days of moon-bound orbit phase, the spacecraft will engage “Vikram”, a 1.4-tonne lander, which will in turn set the 27-kilogram rover “Pragyan” down on a high plain between two craters on the lunar south pole, where no country has gone so far, according to the ISRO. It is expected to soft land on moon on September 7. After the landing, the rover will carry out experiments on moon’s surface for one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days. The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year. The Chandrayaan 2 mission aims to expand the knowledge about the moon, leading to a better understanding of its origin and evolution.
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