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ISRO's Progress: Chandrayaan-3 Nears Moon, Altitude Reduced to 4,313km

ISRO's Progress: Chandrayaan-3 Nears Moon, Altitude Reduced to 4,313km

ISRO's Progress: Chandrayaan-3 Nears Moon, Altitude Reduced to 4,313km

BENGALURU: In a significant stride, Isro has accomplished its inaugural lunar maneuver for Chandrayaan-3, mere hours after the spacecraft was ushered into an elliptical lunar orbit. The craft's Apolune point, the farthest distance from the Moon, saw its altitude curtailed from 18,074km to 4,313km.

Isro affirmed, "The spacecraft has flawlessly executed its planned orbit reduction maneuver. Precise retro-firing of engines has drawn it closer to the lunar surface, positioning it at 170 km x 4313 km. The subsequent operation, slated for August 9, 2023, from 1pm to 2pm, will further refine the orbit."

Read also: Chandrayaan 3 | A Journey to the Moon with Star Sensor Technology 

Since its launch on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 has accomplished eight pivotal maneuvers. These include five earth-bound maneuvers between July 15 and 25, elevating its altitude beyond 1.2-lakh-km at its apogee, followed by the trans-lunar injection on August 1, propelling it towards the Moon at an altitude of nearly 3.6-lakh-km. The recent lunar orbit insertion and first lunar-bound maneuver add to this impressive list.

With Sunday's successful lunar maneuver, Isro anticipates three more successive Moon-bound adjustments. These maneuvers aim to gradually lower the craft's altitude, preparing for the separation of the landing module – Vikram (the lander) and Pragyan (the rover) – from the propulsion module.

Read also: Chandrayaan 3 | the final countdown has begun to launch 

The final integration necessitates the combined spacecraft to achieve a 100km circular orbit, departing from the current elliptical lunar trajectory. Following the module separation, Vikram, transporting Pragyan, will be positioned in a 100km x 30km lunar orbit. The ambitious soft landing of the lander on the Moon's surface is scheduled for August 23 at 5.47pm.

This intricate landing will involve a sequence of intricate braking maneuvers, culminating in a gentle touchdown within the South Polar Region.


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