BENGALURU: India's second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' left the earth's orbit early on Wednesday, 23 days after being launched.
As per the report, it is moving towards the moon following the successful completion of a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency said it has carried out a manoeuvre called 'Trans Lunar Insertion' (TLI) at 2:21 am on Wednesday, following which the spacecraft has successfully entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory.
The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20 and land on the lunar surface on September 7.
"Today (August 14, 2019) after the Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) maneuver operation, Chandrayaan2 will depart from Earth's orbit and move towards the Moon," the ISRO tweeted.
"During the final orbit raising of the spacecraft around the earth, the liquid engine was fired for about 1203 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory," the space agency said.
According to the report, the health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru.
“The spacecraft will approach the moon on August 20 and then the spacecraft's liquid engine will be fired again to insert it into lunar orbit”, the ISRO said.
"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 added.
On July 22, India had launched Chandrayaan-2 on-board its powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with the aim of landing a rover in the unexplored lunar south pole.
The 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2, a three-module spacecraft comprising an orbiter, lander and rover, has been injected into the earth's orbit.
It will be subjected to a series of orbit manoeuvres in the coming weeks to take it to the vicinity of the moon, with the rover soft landing planned on September 7.
If successful, it will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon.
Chandrayaan-2 comes 11 years after ISRO's successful first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 which scripted history by making more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.
With inputs from PTI