The second moon spacecraft of India, Chandrayaan 2 has left the Earth’s orbit today and is headed towards the moon after an important exercise by the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The space agency, ISRO said that the satellite is another step to the moon after the “Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) manoeuvre was carried out successfully at 2.21 am as planned.”

“The final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-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, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory,” ISRO said in a statement.

An elated ISRO chief, Dr K Sivan, told reporters,  “The firing had to be precise and totally accurate as now from a distance of 276 kilometers from earth – where the midnight operation was conducted on Chandrayaan 2 – it will now head for a long lunar marathon of 3.84 lakh km to the moon.”

“The whole process is very complex since Chandrayaan 2 has been imparted an earth leaving velocity of 39,240 kilometres per hour, which is almost 30 times the speed at which sound travels through air, ” he added. 

Chandrayaan 2 is considered as the most complex and prestigious mission of ISRO, which will make India the fourth country landing over the lunar surface after Russia, US and China.

ISRO has said after it approaches the moon on August 20, its liquid engine will be fired again to insert it into lunar orbit. “Following this, there will be four orbit maneuvers to make the spacecraft enter its final orbit, passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the moon’s surface,” it said.

The lunar mission aims to gather more information about the moon which will help to a better understanding of its origin and evolution.

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