India’s third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, completed its fifth and final Earth-bound orbit-raising manoeuvre on July 25, marking a crucial phase of the spacecraft’s lunar trajectory. Now the spacecraft is on course for its journey towards the Moon’s south pole. This information has been released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
“The spacecraft is expected to attain an orbit of 127609 km x 236 km. The achieved orbit will be confirmed after the observations,” ISRO said in a tweet. ISRO expects the next firing, that is the TransLunar Injection (TLI), to take place on August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am Indian Standard Time.
Earlier, on July 25, the fourth firing of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft took place from the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru. The Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon was launched on July 14.
The spacecraft is “on its way to the Moon. In another few days it will go (the lander will soft-land on the Lunar surface),” Somanath S, ISRO Chairman, said while delivering the inaugural address to the Space Science Technology and Awareness Training (START) programme 2023. “I am sure that you will find something very substantial through this (Chandrayaan-3) mission as far as science is concerned,” he added.
ISRO expects the Chandrayaan-3 mission to reach the moon around August 23 or 24, following a longer route using Earth’s gravity to enhance its velocity. The mission’s Lander is expected to soft-land on the Moon’s South Pole region, a less explored location that could potentially yield valuable scientific data.