ISRO has released a number of images taken by the Chandrayaan 2 LI4 camera as the command module makes its way from the final stages of Earth raising orbit and prepares itself to insert into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory. On August 2, the mission completed its fourth orbit-raising manoeuvre and is now closer than ever to the moon.
Chandrayaan 2 had earlier successfully completed its third earthbound orbit-raising manoeuvre on July 29 and the second one on July 26 using the on-board propulsion system for a firing duration of 883 seconds.
The mission was launched on July 22 when the GSLV, Mark III, also called the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk III), carrying the Chandrayaan 2 mission was injected into an elliptical orbit of 170x45,475 km.
The Chandrayaan 2 comprises three parts - the orbiter weighing 2,379 kg and carrying eight payloads, the lander 'Vikram' weighing 1,471 kg and carrying four payloads and rover 'Pragyan' weighing 27 kg and carrying two payloads.
After completing its earthbound manoeuvres, the Chandrayaan 2 will move on to Trans Lunar Insertion and then perform Lunar bound manoeuvres. After that, the lander Vikram will separate from Chandrayaan 2 and Vikram will touch down on the Moon's South Pole.
The Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled to reach the Moon orbit by August 20. According to ISRO, the lander Vikram will land on the Moon on September 7. If all goes according to plan, this Make-in-India lunar mission will make India the fourth nation in the world - behind the US, Russia and China - to have reached the surface of the Moon.
However, what makes it special is that the Chandrayaan 2 will also be the first space mission to land on the far south South Pole which is also called the dark side of the Moon.