The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has conducted another orbit reduction maneuver of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft to take it closer to the surface of the Moon is conducted by, on August 14.
Taking it to Twitter, ISRO confirmed the success of the orbit reduction maneuver over Chandrayaan- 3, confirming the next on August 16. “Orbit circularisation phase commences, precise maneuver performed today has achieved a near-circular orbit of 150 km x 177 km. The next operation is planned for August 16, 2023, around 0830 Hrs” IST. The spacecraft had moved closer to the Moon’s surface on August 9 after it underwent another orbit reduction maneuver”.
Orbit circularisation phase commences
Precise maneuvre performed today has achieved a near-circular orbit of 150 km x 177 km
The next operation is planned for August 16, 2023, around 0830 Hrs. IST pic.twitter.com/LlU6oCcOOb
— ISRO (@isro) August 14, 2023
India’s ambitious third Moon mission spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 after its launch on July 14, entered into lunar or the Moon’s orbit on August 5.
“Even closer to the Moon’s surface. Chandrayaan-3’s orbit is reduced to 174 km x 1437 km following a maneuver performed today,” ISRO said in a tweet.
The ISRO carried out a similar orbit reduction maneuver on August 13.
As the mission progresses, a series of maneuvers are being conducted by ISRO to gradually reduce Chandrayaan-3’s orbit and position it over the lunar poles. According to ISRO, two more orbit reduction maneuvers will bring the spacecraft closer to the Moon.
These maneuvers will be performed on August 14 and August 16 to reach a 100 km orbit, following which the landing module, comprising the lander and rover, will break away from the propulsion module.
After this, the lander is expected to undergo a “deboost” (the process of slowing down) and make a soft landing on the south polar region of the Moon on August 23.
Over five moves in the three weeks since the July 14 launch, ISRO had lifted the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into orbits farther and farther away from the Earth.
On August 1, in a key maneuver a slingshot move the spacecraft was sent successfully towards the Moon from Earth’s orbit. Following this trans-lunar injection, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft escaped from orbiting the Earth and began following a path that would take it to the vicinity of the Moon.
Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. It consists of the lander and rover configuration.