Chandrayaan-2 (Image: Twitter ISRO)
India's second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' left the earth's orbit early, 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.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20 and land on lunar surface on September 7. "Today (August 14, 2019) after the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) maneuver operation, #Chandrayaan2 will depart from Earth's orbit and move towards the Moon (sic)," the ISRO tweeted. "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 space agency said.
Let’s have a look at all the events that unfolded post the Chandrayaan-2 launch in chronological order.
15 JULY 2019
The initial launch of the Chandrayaan-2 was scheduled for July 15 at 0251 hours. The launch had a massive build-up and the whole of India had its eyes set on what was going to be a historical event.
A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later.— ISRO (@isro) July 14, 2019
ISRO, however, called-off the launch 56 minutes prior to launch because of a technical snag.
In a statement, a senior ISRO official said, "A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at one hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution Chandrayaan-2 launch has been called off for today. The revised launch date will be announced later."
22 JULY 2019
Chandrayaan-2 officially launched: This time ISRO's preparations were spot on and the Chandrayaan-2 had a smooth launch.
24 JULY 2019
Chandrayaan-2 performed its first earthbound orbit manoeuvre at 1452 hours.
26 JULY 2019
Chandrayaan-2 performed its second earthbound manoeuvre.
29 JULY 2019
Chandrayaan-2 performed its third earthbound manoeuvre.
02 August 2019
Chandrayaan-2 performed its fourth earthbound manoeuvre.
06 AUGUST 2019
Chandrayaan-2 performed its fifth earthbound manoeuvre.
20 AUGUST 2019
Chandrayaan-2 successfully completed the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre. This happened at 0902 hours. The orbit achieved was 114 km x 18072 km.
21 AUGUST 2019
Chandrayaan-2 successfully completed the second Lunar Orbit Maneuver.
28 AUGUST 2019
Chandrayaan-2 successfully completed the third Lunar Orbit Maneuver.
30 AUGUST 2019
Chandrayaan-2 successfully completed the fourth Lunar Orbit Maneuver.
01 SEPTEMBER 2019
Chandrayaan-2 successfully completed fifth and final Lunar Orbit Maneuver.
02 SEPTEMBER 2019
Vikram lander was separated from Chandrayaan-2 and set on course for moon deorbit.
03 SEPTEMBER 2019
Vikram lander performed first Deorbit on its way to the lunar touchdown.
04 SEPTEMBER 2019
Vikram lander performed second Deorbit on its way to the lunar touchdown.
07 SEPTEMBER 2019
Vikram lander will begin its powered descent towards the Moon. This will be the final stage before the lander finally touches down on the surface of the moon.
07 SEPTEMBER 2019
Vikram lander will finally touch down on the south pole of the moon creating history.
This will make India the first country to land on the south pole of the moon which has been unexplored all this time.