Ahmedabad: India's second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' is expected to reach the moon's orbit on 20 August and land on the lunar surface on 7 September, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman Dr K. Sivan said on Monday.
The spacecraft is all set to leave the earth's orbit after two days, he told reporters here.
Sivan was on the city to take part in the birth centenary celebrations of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, regarded as the father of India's space programme.
The 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2, a three-module spacecraft comprising orbiter, lander and rover, which was launched on 22 July, would make a landing on the moon on 7 September, the Isro chief said.
"After launching Chandrayaan-2 on 22 July, we did five maneuvers. The Chandrayaan-2 composite body is now revolving around the earth," he said.
The next very important and crucial maneuver will happen on Wednesday morning.
"At around 3.30 am on 14 August, we are going to have a maneuver called trans-lunar injection. By this maneuver, the Chandrayaan-2 will leave the earth and move towards the moon. On 20 August, we will be reaching the moon," he said.
"Then, we will be carrying out lunar orbit insertion. By this process, the Chandrayaan-2 will be around the moon on 20 August. Subsequently, we have planned to have a series of maneuvers around the moon and finally on September 7, we will be landing on the moon near its south pole," he added.
Sivan said the spacecraft was "doing very well" at present and all its systems were functioning properly.
He said scientists at the ISRO will be busy in coming months, particularly in December when the space agency would take up a mission to launch small satellites.
"In December, we are going to have a very important mission. It's a small satellite launcher. This is for the first time we are going to have this mission," he said.