Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the Moon, went through its third lunar bound orbit manoeuvre on Wednesday, August 28. The orbit manoeuvre took place at 9.04 hours IST, using the onboard propulsion system, and lasted 1190 seconds. The orbit achieved is 179 km x 1412 km.
All spacecraft parameters of the 2.4-tonne box-shaped spacecraft Orbiter with lander Vikram and rover Pragyan inside it are normal, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said in a statement on its website.
Chandrayaan-2 has successfully carried out three in-orbit manoeuvres since it entered lunar orbit. The second manoeuvre was performed on August 21 as planned after the spacecraft was inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20. The fourth lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on August 30 between 6 pm and 7 pm when the lander Vikram will separate from the spacecraft.
The spacecraft will touch down on the Moon's surface on September 7 at 1.40 am IST in a landing sequence that ISRO Chairman K Sivan describes as "15 minutes of terror".
"As the Orbiter rotates at 90 degrees over the moon, onboard engines will be fired on September 2 to separate Vikram from the top of it and lower it to orbit around 100 x 30 kms above the lunar surface for soft-landing near the south pole on September 7," Sivan told news agency IANS.
The Rs 978 crore Moon mission was launched on July 22 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on board a heavy rocket (GSLV Mark-III). The spacecraft consists --an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
Congratulating the team of ISRO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the latest manoeuvre was an "important step in the landmark journey to the Moon".
According to the Indian space agency, Chandrayaan-2 will orbit around the moon for over a year over its north-south poles and will shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon. This mission will make India, the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to make a soft landing on the Moon.