‘Closer to greatness’: India’s rover mission Chandrayaan-2 leaves Earth’s orbit, heading to Moon


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Indian rover-carrying spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 successfully maneuvered its way out of Earth’s orbit and is now heading for the Moon, where it is scheduled to land next month.

Launched into space last month, the mission consists of an orbiter, lander, and a small rover. After circling the Earth for 22 days, the spacecraft left the planet’s orbit on Wednesday and set a course for the Moon.

All systems on board “are performing normal,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

In the next step, the lander will be detached from the orbiter and land on the Moon’s South Pole on September 7. From there, the solar-powered Pragyan (wisdom) rover will explore the surface for two weeks, taking pictures and sending images back to Earth.

If successful, India will be the fourth country to land on the Moon, after the US, USSR, and China.

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