India’s third moon mission, Chandrayaan-3 completed its final orbit-raising manoeuvre (Earth-bound perigee firing), on Tuesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
According to ISRO, the spacecraft is expected to attain an orbit of 127609 km x 236 km. The space organisation also informed that the next firing, the TransLunar Injection (TLI), is planned for August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am IST. ISRO tweeted, “The orbit-raising maneuver (Earth-bound perigee firing) is performed successfully from ISTRAC/ISRO, Bengaluru.
The spacecraft is expected to attain an orbit of 127609 km x 236 km. The achieved orbit will be confirmed after the observations. The next firing, the TransLunar Injection (TLI), is planned for August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am IST.” Chandrayaan-3 was launched on GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota as per scheduled launch time on July 14.
The journey from Earth to the moon for the spacecraft is estimated to take about a month and the landing is expected on August 23. Upon landing, it will operate for one lunar day, which is approximately 14 Earth days. One day on the Moon is equal to 14 days on Earth. Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar exploration mission, will make India the fourth country after US, China, and Russia, to land its spacecraft on the surface of the moon and demonstrate the country’s abilities for safe and soft landing on lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3 is the ISRO’s follow-up attempt after the Chandrayaan-2 mission faced challenges during its soft landing on the lunar surface in 2019 and was eventually deemed to have failed its core mission objectives. Chandrayaan-3 will be inserted into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory after the orbit raising maneuvers. Covering a distance of over 300,000 km, it will reach the Moon in the coming weeks. Scientific instruments onboard will study the Moon’s surface and enhance our knowledge.
Chandrayaan-3 is equipped with a lander, a rover and a propulsion module. It weighs around 3,900 kilograms. Moon serves as a repository of the Earth’s past and a successful lunar mission by India will help enhance life on Earth while also enabling it explore the rest of the solar system and beyond.