Chandrayaan-3, the esteemed spacecraft developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), reached a significant milestone on Tuesday as it concluded its fifth and final orbit-raising manoeuvre. This critical operation marked a vital step in the spacecraft’s journey towards lunar insertion, propelling it closer to the Moon.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has tweeted that the orbit-raising manoeuvre (Earth-bound perigee firing) of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was carried out successfully from the ISTRAC/ISRO facility in Bengaluru. During the manoeuvre, the spacecraft is anticipated to attain an orbit with a perigee (closest point to Earth) of 236 km and an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 127,609 km.
ISRO has further announced that the next crucial step in the Chandrayaan-3 mission is the TransLunar Injection (TLI) firing, scheduled to take place on August 1, between 12 midnight and 1 am Indian Standard Time (IST). The TransLunar Injection is a significant event in the mission, as it will propel the spacecraft from its Earth orbit towards the Moon.
Chandrayaan-3, India’s highly anticipated third moon mission, initiated its journey from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on July 14. The spacecraft’s launch marked a significant milestone in India’s ambitious lunar exploration program.
After a journey of about 40 days, Chandrayaan-3 is expected to arrive at the Moon’s vicinity and undertake precise maneuvers to facilitate a soft landing on August 23. The final descent and landing phase will be particularly critical and require intricate navigation and coordination to ensure a safe touchdown.
If India successfully accomplishes a soft landing on the lunar surface with the Chandrayaan-3 mission, it would join an exclusive group of elite nations that have achieved this remarkable feat. As of now, only three countries, namely the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China, have accomplished soft landings on the Moon.