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Chandrayaan-2 another step closer to Moon, enters new lunar orbit

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New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday said that India’s spacecraft Chandrayaan-2 has successfully completed its third orbit maneuver.

All craft parameters were normal, the space agency said after the maneuver. Chandrayaan 2 which is currently in the lunar orbit is expected to land in the south pole of the Moon on September 7.

“Third Lunar bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (August 28, 2019) beginning at 0904 hrs IST, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the maneuver was 1190 seconds. The orbit achieved is 179 km x 1412 km,” ISRO said in an update. “All spacecraft parameters are normal. The next Lunar bound orbit maneuver is scheduled on August 30, 2019 between 1800 – 1900 hrs IST,” it said.

In a major milestone for India, the spacecraft had entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing lunar orbit insertion maneuver.

After performing second lunar bound orbit maneuver on August 21, ISRO had released two sets of pictures of Moon captured by the spacecraft.

There will be two more orbit maneuvers to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon’s surface.

ISRO has said subsequently the lander would separate from the Orbiter (on September 2) and enter into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon.

Then it would perform a series of complex braking maneuvers to soft land in the South polar region of the Moon on September 7, 2019.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan has said the proposed soft-landing on the Moon is going to be a “terrifying” moment as it is something ISRO has not done before, where as LOI maneuver was successfully carried out during the the Chandrayaan-1 mission.

The health of the spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennas at Byalalu, near Bengaluru, the space agency has said.

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Trump knew exactly what was going on: Giuliani aide

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Washington: An aide to Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has said that the US President “knew exactly what was going on” regarding efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, it was reported on Thursday.

Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnass, who is facing separate criminal charges, made the comments in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday after letters, phone records, notes and flash drives were obtained from him earlier this week, the BBC said in a report.

Documents show that the Ukraine-born Parnas was in regular contact with Giuliani as well as Ukrainian officials, and suggests that the businessman was directly involved in trying to have Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky look into the Bidens.

In the interview, Parnas said Trump was “aware of all my movements”.

“I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the President. Why would President Zelensky’s inner circle or (Interior) Minister (Arsen) Avakov or all these people or (former) President (Petro) Poroshenko meet with me?

“Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work,” he added.

Parnas further said that the President was lying and knew that unless there was an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who was a director of a Ukrainian gas company, military aid to Kiev would be withheld.

He also claimed that the investigation was about digging up dirt on Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, some of the materials obtained show Parnas and Giuliani discussing the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the then US ambassador to Ukraine, said the BBC report.

In Wednesday’s interview, Parnas claimed the only motivation to get Yovanovitch removed from her post was because she was in the way of the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden.

Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on December 18, 2019 and is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The two articles of impeachment were sent to the Republican-majority Senate on Wednesday night, paving the way for the starting of a trial against the President.

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