ISRO raises Chandrayaan-2 orbit around Earth further

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conducted the second earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvre for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft today (July 26) at 0108 hr.

Over the next few days, mission controllers will use Chandrayaan-2's onboard propulsion system to perform a series of orbital adjustments. The spacecraft now files 251 km above the earth at its closest approach (perigee) and will be 54,829 km away at its farthest (apogee). The third orbit raising maneuver is scheduled on 29 July between 2.30 and 3.30 pm.

Officials said the onboard propulsion system was sacked for a duration of 883 seconds at 1.08 am on Friday to achieve higher orbit of 251 km perigee (point of orbit closest to the earth) and 54829 km apogee (point of orbit farthest to the earth).

The spacecraft was originally supposed to take off on July 15, but it was aborted just 56 minutes before the launch after suffering a technical glitch. "All spacecraft parameters are normal", ISRO tweeted.

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India's second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, blasted off from the Sriharikota space station on Monday. Taking a major leap forward in the country's ambitious extremely low-priced space programme, ISRO successfully installed Chandrayaan 2 into Earth's orbit through its powerful GSLV-MKIII-M1 from Sriharikota Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh on July 22. Friday's was the second of the four operations planned before the spacecraft shoots off towards the Moon on August 14. "The US wishes to establish a base on the Moon which it could use to exclude others", Bruce Gagnon, coordinator with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, said.

The grand spacecraft will be hitting the Moon's surface on September 7, 2019. Its mission is to land a rover near the moon's south pole, reports Financial Express. It is also the first time a country is attempting to explore the uncharted South Pole of the Moon.

The success of the mission will induct India into the "Big Boys Space Club" as national media put it, joining the US, Russia and China in successfully having soft-landed on the Moon. He said the vertical-facing mill machine was manufactured for the first time in India as an import substitution under Make in India.

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