On July 25th, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved a significant milestone as they successfully completed the fifth and final orbit-raising manoeuvre for the Chandrayaan-3 mission. This crucial manoeuvre, known as Earth-bound perigee firing, took place at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC) facility in Bengaluru.
As a result of this successful operation, the spacecraft has now entered an orbit with measurements of 1,27,609 km x 236 km. In simpler terms, Chandrayaan-3 is now positioned in an orbit that brings it closest to Earth at 236 km and farthest at an impressive distance of 1,27,609 km.
ISRO expressed cautious optimism, stating that the achievement of this orbit would be confirmed after further observations and analysis. Prior to this, four other orbit-raising manoeuvres were performed by ISTRAC, taking place between July 15 and July 20.
The next crucial step in the mission is the TransLunar Injection (TLI), which is scheduled to occur on August 1, 2023, between midnight and 1 a.m. IST. This operation will slingshot Chandrayaan-3 towards its destination – the Moon.
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is composed of a lander module (LM), a propulsion module (PM), and a rover. Launched on July 14, the mission is now progressing steadily. After the TransLunar Injection, the PM and the LM will separate on August 17. Subsequently, a series of deboost manoeuvres are scheduled to prepare for the critical power descent phase, which aims for a soft landing on the Moon’s surface. The anticipated touchdown of the lander on the Moon is scheduled for August 23 at 5.47 p.m.
With these remarkable achievements, ISRO is one step closer to realizing another successful lunar exploration mission, advancing India’s position in the field of space research and exploration.