Thursday, July 18, 2024

Chandrayaan-3 heading for Moon

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ISRO on Tuesday said the health of India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 is normal – hours after it completed its orbits around the Earth and moved closer to the Moon.

Earlier today, a key manoeuvre to slingshot the Chandrayaan spacecraft towards the Moon from Earth’s orbit was carried out successfully.

The move put the spacecraft in a translunar orbit in which it enters the Moon’s sphere of influence. In about four days from now another crucial manoeuvre will inject the spacecraft into the Moon’s orbit.

The manoeuvre will be performed when Chandrayaan-3 is at the closest point to the Moon (perilune), ISRO said.

“As it arrives at the moon, the Lunar-Orbit Insertion (LOI) is planned for August 5, 2023,” ISRO said, adding that, “A crucial manoeuvre at perilune would achieve the LOI.”

Earlier in the day, ISRO announced the success of the slingshot manoeuvre performed by scientists from the space centre here when the spacecraft was closest to Earth (perigee).

“A successful perigee-firing performed at ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network). ISRO has injected the spacecraft into the translunar orbit,” it said.

After tracking Chandrayaan-3 through the day, ISRO said, “Today’s perigee burn has successfully raised Chandrayaan-3 orbit to 288 km x 369328 km”.

“The spacecraft’s health is normal,” ISRO added.

An ISRO official said that following the trans-lunar injection, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft escaped from orbiting the Earth and is now following a path that would take it to the vicinity of the moon.

“Chandrayaan-3 completes its orbits around the Earth and heads towards the moon,” the national space agency said, adding, “Next stop: the moon.”

According to ISRO, it would attempt soft-landing on the lunar surface on August 23.
The spacecraft’s orbit was progressively increased five times after the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon was launched on July 14.

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