Science

Chandrayaan-2 gets first orbit boost around earth

The spacecraft is scheduled to reach moon by August 20, says ISRO update

The lunar craft Chandrayaan-2 had its first orbit raising manoeuvre on Wednesday, Day 3 since its launch on July 22.

At 2 p.m., teams handling the spacecraft’s movement did a 1.5-hour-long burn of an on-board motor. They raised the orbit to the present 241.5 km x 45,162 km around earth, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said sharing the next set of exercises it planned to perform on the spacecraft during its earth-bound phase.

  • July 22-August 14 (23-24 days): Launch & earth bound manoeuvres
  • August 14 (Day 23/24): Trans Lunar Insertion (journey from earth to moon begins)
  • August 20 (Day 30): Spacecraft reaches moon
  • From August 20 (13-14 days) : Orbits and manoeuvres around moon
  • September 2 (Day 43) Lander Vikram separates from the orbiter
  • September 7 (Day 48): Vikram begins descent; touches down on moon
  • Source : ISRO

Engineers conduct the exercises from ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry, Tracking & Command Network) at Peenya in Bengaluru.

Chandrayaan-2, which is carrying a lander and a rover, will head for moon on August 14. After a travel of about six days, “The spacecraft is scheduled to reach moon by August 20,” the update said.

Between now and August 14, that is, until Day 23 or Day 24, the spacecraft will go around earth in an ellipse. It would have four more manoeuvres to raise the orbit at the far end of the oval.

On August 14, it will get moon-bound in the wee hours with a manoeuvre called the ‘trans-lunar insertion’, ISRO said.

The real test of Chandrayaan-2, namely the soft-landing on lunar surface, is slated for the early morning of September 7, Day 48.

At launch, the GSLV MKIII M1 launch vehicle gave the spacecraft managers an advantage: it placed it at an ellipse higher than planned — 170 km x 45,475 km or a bonus of about 6,000 km than planned.

This is the current but tentative calendar of upcoming actions on the spacecraft. ISRO may slightly tweak it according to the need of the day.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 10:09:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/chandrayaan-2-gets-first-orbit-boost-around-earth/article28698714.ece

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