The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday said India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2, which took off on July 22, was scheduled to reach the Moon by August 20. The space agency also said that the “first earth bound orbit raising manoeuver” for the spacecraft had successfully been performed on Wednesday.

“First earth bound orbit raising maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has been performed successfully today [July 24, 2019] at 1452 hrs (IST) as planned, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 48 seconds,” the space agency said on its website. The next orbit raising manoeuvre has been scheduled for July 26 between 1 am and 2 am.

On July 22, Chandrayaan-2 was injected into an elliptical orbit of 170 x 45475 km, the space agency said. The mission was scheduled for launch on July 15, but was called off 56 minutes before the scheduled time. If the mission is successful, India will become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon after the United States, Russia, and China.

ISRO Chairperson K Sivan on Monday had said that the space agency was aiming to put the lander, christened Vikram, and the rover, named Pragyan, on the lunar surface by September 7, just a day behind the earlier schedule. The lander module will separate from the orbiter on Day 43, or September 2, and may continue to go around the Moon for another few days in a lower orbit. The actual landing will be on September 6, as originally scheduled, or in the early hours of September 7.

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