The Indian Space Research Organisation on Sunday said it has successfully carried out the orbit reduction manoeuvre of India’s third moon mission Chandrayaan-3, a day after inserting it into the lunar orbit.
The space agency said it will carry out the next such operation on August 9.
“The spacecraft successfully underwent a planned orbit reduction manoeuvre. The retrofiring of engines brought it closer to the moon’s surface, now to 170 km x 4,313 km.
“The next operation to further reduce the orbit is scheduled for August 9, 2023, between 1300 and 1400 hrs IST,” ISRO tweeted on Sunday.
There will be three more moon-bound manoeuvres till August 17, following which the landing module, comprising the lander and rover, will break away from the propulsion module.
After this, de-orbiting manoeuvres will be carried out on the lander before the final descent on the moon. According to ISRO, it would attempt a soft landing on the moon’s surface on August 23.
In over five moves in the three weeks since the launch on July 14, ISRO has been lifting the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into orbits farther and farther away from the earth.
Chandrayaan-3 was launched on 14 July 2023, at 2:35 pm IST as scheduled, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India.