New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation on Tuesday successfully fired the liquid engine of Chandrayaan-2 and inserted the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon.

Earlier, commenting on India’s Moon mission to inject Chandrayaan-2 into the lunar orbit, ISRO Chairman K Sivan on Monday said, “It’s tomorrow morning (tentatively between 8.30 am and 9.30 am). It’s challenging.”

Following the insertion of the spacecraft on Moon’s orbit, four orbit manoeuvres will take place till the spacecraft reaches the final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from Moon’s surface, stated the ISRO. The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency noted that the Vikram lander will separate from the orbiter on September 2. Thereafter, two orbit-manoeuvres are scheduled to be performed by the Lander before the initiation of a powered descent. This will ensure a smooth landing on the lunar surface on September 7, noted the Indian space agency.

Notably, the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) located at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru continuously monitors the health of the spacecraft with the help of Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru. As on August 14, ISRO stated that all the systems on board Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft are performing normally.

Launched on July 22 by GSLV MkIII-M1 vehicle, Chandrayaan 2 had entered the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on August 14 after the spacecraft was successfully raised to the final orbit. Notably, this lunar expedition is likely to shed light on a completely unexplored region of the Moon, namely the South Pole. Space agency ISRO had said, “This mission will help us gain a better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface.”