The ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC) here successfully completed the sixth orbit-raising manoeuvre (Earth-bound perigee firing) of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on Tuesday.
“The spacecraft is expected to achieve a 127609 km X 236 km orbit.” The orbit will be confirmed following the observations, according to the national space agency headquartered here.
“The next firing, the TransLunar Injection (TLI), is planned for August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am IST,” said ISRO, which launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon on July 14.
According to an ISRO official, after the TLI, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft will depart from Earth’s orbit and go to the region of the Moon.In other words, the spacecraft would begin its voyage to the Moon on August 1 after departing Earth’s orbit following the TLI manoeuvre, putting it on a “lunar transfer trajectory.”
ISRO has stated that the lander will try a soft touchdown on the Moon’s surface on August 23.
Following the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 on the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle, ISRO Director S Somanath stated that landing is a critical step for further exploration.
“Chandrayaan-3 is a critical phase…It is critical to arrive at this time. It is impossible to collect samples, land humans, or build lunar bases unless you land. As a result, landing is a critical step for further exploration,” said ISRO chief S Somanath.
The ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 project is the follow-up to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which had difficulties during its soft landing on the lunar surface in 2019 and was ultimately deemed to have failed its key mission objectives.