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ISRO raises Chandrayaan-2 orbit around Earth further

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BENGALURU (PTI): India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 has successfully raised its orbit around the Earth for the second time early on Friday, taking the spacecraft one step closer to the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

The 15-minute manoeuvre was carried out at 1.08 am (0108 IST) using the spacecraft's on-board propulsion system, the space agency said in a statement.

With this effort, the spacecraft was pushed to an orbit of 251 X 54,829 kilometres, it said.

ISRO announced that all parameters of the spacecraft were normal.

The third orbit raising manoeuvre will be performed on July 29, according to the space agency.

The ambitious project of sending a spacecraft with a moonlander and a rover was launched on July 22.

The ISRO is aiming for a soft landing of the lander in the South Pole region of the Moon where no country has gone so far.

The first "Earth-bound manoeuvre" took place on Wednesday. Friday's was the second of the four operations planned before the spacecraft shoots off towards the Moon on August 14.

If successful, the mission will make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the Moon.

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