Chandrayaan-3 completed all lunar-bound manoeuvres on August 16, 2023, and entered an orbit of 153 km x 163 km, as intended. The spacecraft completed the successful firing at 8:30 am IST on August 16. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to make the propulsion module and lander module separate.
The next operation is set to ocur on August 17.
The lunar-bound manoeuvre lasted for a short period of time. The rover is fitted inside the lander, and together, they are called the lander module. The propulsion module will carry the lander module to a 100-kilometre circular lunar orbit. After this, the propulsion module and the lander module will separate.
Today’s successful firing, needed for a short duration, has put Chandrayaan-3 into an orbit of 153 km x 163 km, as intended.
With this, the lunar bound maneuvres are completed.
It’s time for preparations as the Propulsion Module and the Lander Module… pic.twitter.com/0Iwi8GrgVR
— ISRO (@isro) August 16, 2023
In the early hours of August 1, Chandrayaan-3 completed its orbit around Earth following which it was injected into translunar orbit.
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft’s voyage towards the Moon began after ISRO’s largest and heaviest rocket, the Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3), carried India’s third lunar exploration mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
ISRO aims to land Chandrayaan-3’s lander softly on the Moon’s south pole. If this is achieved, India may become the fourth nation to complete the soft landing of a spacecraft on the Moon, and also the first country to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s south pole.
However, Russia’s Luna 25 spacecraft, which was launched on August 11, is expected to land on the lunar south pole on August 21, which is two days before Chandrayaan’s tentative landing date. Therefore, a lunar race has ensued. The country whose spacecraft lands first on the lunar south pole will become the first country to achieve this milestone.