The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on August 14 successfully carried out another orbit reduction manoeuvre of India’s third moon mission Chandrayaan-3.
The manoeuvre was performed from ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru. The spacecraft is now just 177 km away from the moon.
“Orbit circularisation phase commences. Precise manoeuvre performed today has achieved a near-circular orbit of 150 km x 177 km. The next operation is planned for August 16, 2023, around 0830 Hrs. IST,” ISRO said after the manoeuvre. The fifth and final orbit reduction manoeuvre will be carried out on August 16.
The Chandrayaan-3 launched on July 14 consists of a lander module (LM), a propulsion module (PM) and a rover.
“As the mission progresses, a series of manoeuvers have been planned to gradually reduce Chandrayaan-3’s orbit and position it over the lunar poles. After some manoeuvers, the propulsion module will separate from the lander while in orbit. Following that, a series of complex braking maneuvers will be executed to facilitate a soft landing in the South Polar region of the Moon on August 23, 2023,” ISRO said after the Lunar Orbit Insertion on August 5.
The PM and LM separation would happen on August 17. A series of deboost manoeuvres is also scheduled to take place before the power descent phase for soft-landing on the moon. The lander is expected to touch down on the moon surface on August 23 at 5.47 p.m.