ISRO successfully conducted the fifth raise-of-orbit (Earth-bound perigee firing) maneuver of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft from the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command (ISTRAC) Network here on Tuesday.
“The spacecraft is expected to reach an orbit of 127609 km X 236 km. The achieved orbit will be confirmed after observations,” the here-based national space agency said.
“The next shot, the TransLunar Injection (TLI) is scheduled for August 1, 2023, between 12pm and 1am IST,” added ISRO, which had launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon on July 14.
An ISRO official told PTI that after TLI, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft would escape Earth’s orbit and follow a path that would take it to the vicinity of the Moon.
That is, the spacecraft would begin its journey to the Moon on August 1, after leaving Earth orbit after the TLI maneuver, which would place it on a “lunar transfer trajectory.”
ISRO has said it would attempt a soft landing of the lander on the surface of the Moon on August 23.
After the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 on the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle, ISRO director S Somanath said the landing is an important step for further exploration.
“Chandrayaan-3 is a very important step… Landing this time is very important. Unless it lands, it cannot take samples, it cannot land humans, and it cannot create moon bases. Therefore, the landing is an important step for further exploration,” said ISRO chief S Somanath.
Chandrayaan-3 is ISRO’s follow-up attempt after the Chandrayaan-2 mission faced challenges during its soft landing on the lunar surface in 2019 and was ultimately deemed to have failed its primary mission objectives.
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