New Delhi: The first Earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvre for the highly anticipated Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully performed on Wednesday afternoon.

The Earth-bound manoeuvres were performed as per the schedule at 2.52 PM, using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 57 seconds. The new orbit for the journeys onwards will be 230 x 45163 km, the space agency stated.

The second Earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvre will be conducted on July 26, between 1 PM and 2 PM. The grand spacecraft will be hitting the Moon’s surface on August 20, 2019. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) posted the entire schedule of the Mission Plan for Chandrayaan-2 on Twitter.

In the run-up to the launch, ISRO chief K Sivan had said that the Chandrayaan-2 will perform 15 manoeuvres in all. Sivan had said that the spacecraft would be making a soft landing on the moon, “it will land on the South Pole. There is a lot of scientific testing to be done regarding the mission. Scientists around the world are looking forward to the launch”.

The historic launch of India’s second moon mission grabbed attention globally with politicians, celebrities and even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) congratulating the ISRO team.

India’s low-cost, homegrown technology that has powered its space programme is a source of national pride and inspiration, leading American newspaper The Washington Post had said.

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. However, the spacecraft was ready for flight again exactly one week later.

At 2.43 PM on July 22, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) carrying Chandrayaan-2 blasted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota to begin its 48-day journey to the Moon.

The success of the mission will make India the fourth country in the world to land a vehicle and travel to the Moon surface after the US, Russia and China.