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After final lunar orbit manoeuvre, ISRO readies for separation

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BENGALURU: The final and 5th Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft performed successfully ISRO on Sunday said it has successfully performed the fifth and final lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft and was gearing up for separation of the lander from the orbiter on September 2. All spacecraft parameters are normal, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said after Sunday’s manoeuvre on the spacecraft that is currently in the lunar orbit for its rendezvous with the Moon.

“The final and fifth Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today (September 01, 2019) beginning at 1821 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the manoeuvre was 52 seconds. The orbit achieved is 119 km x 127 km,” the Indian Space Research Organisation said in an update. The next operation is the separation of lander ‘Vikram’ from Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter, which is scheduled on September 2, between 1245 hrs and 1345 hrs. Following this, there would be two deorbit manoeuvres of lander ‘Vikram’ to prepare for its landing in the south polar region of the moon.

Vikram (with rover ‘Pragyan’ housed inside) is expected to touch down on the lunar surface on September 7, between 1.30 AM and 2.30 am. ISRO said, after the lander’s separation on Monday, two deorbit manoeuvres are scheduled for September 3 (9:00-10:00) and September 4 (3:00-4:00) respectively, before the powered decent on September 7. ISRO chief K Sivan said the proposed soft-landing would be a “terrifying” moment as it is something ISRO has not done before, whereas the Lunar Orbit Insertion was successfully carried out during the Chandrayaan-1 mission.

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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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