ISRO on Tuesday successfully performed the fifth orbit-raising manoeuvre (Earth-bound perigee firing) of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft from the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) here.
“The spacecraft is expected to attain an orbit of 127609 km X 236 km. The achieved orbit will be confirmed after the observations,” the national space agency headquartered here said.
“The next firing, the TransLunar Injection (TLI) is planned for August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am IST,” added ISRO, which had launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon on July 14.
An ISRO official told PTI that following the TLI, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft would escape from orbiting the Earth and follow a path that would take it to the vicinity of the Moon.
In other words, the spacecraft would begin its journey towards the Moon on August 1, after leaving the Earth’s orbit following the TLI manoeuvre, which would place it on a “lunar transfer trajectory”.
ISRO has said it would attempt soft-landing of the lander on the Moon’s surface on August 23.
After the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 on GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle, Director of ISRO S Somanath said that landing is one important step for further exploration.
“Chandrayaan-3 is a very important step…Landing this time is very important. Unless you land, you cannot take samples, you cannot land human beings, and you cannot create moon bases. So, landing is one important step for further exploration,” said ISRO chief S Somanath.
Chandrayaan-3 is the ISRO’s follow-up attempt after the Chandrayaan-2 mission faced challenges during its soft landing on the lunar surface in 2019 and was eventually deemed to have failed its core mission objectives.
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