India’s moon-bound spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3, travelled further towards its destination with the Indian space agency on Tuesday raising its orbit further for the fifth time.
On August 1, the Chandrayaan-3 will take the ‘moon spaceway’ when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will guide it to the TransLunar Injection (TLI).
On Tuesday, the ISRO said: “The orbit-raising maneuver (Earth-bound perigee firing) is performed successfully from ISTRAC/ISRO, Bengaluru. The spacecraft is expected to attain an orbit of 127609 km x 236 km. The achieved orbit will be confirmed after the observations.”
“The next firing, the TransLunar Injection (TLI), is planned for August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am IST,” the ISRO said.
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was put into orbit on July 15, in a copybook style by India’s heavy lift rocket LVM3. On the same day, the first orbit raising was done and the second orbit raising was carried out on July 17.
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft comprises a propulsion module (weighing 2,148 kg), a lander (1,723.89 kg), and a rover (26 kg), the ISRO said.
The main object of the mission is to safely land the lander on the lunar soil. The lander will get separated from the propulsion module a couple of days after it enters lunar orbit and is expected to make a soft-landing near the South Pole of the moon at 5.47 p.m. on August 23.
The lander will descend to the moon from a height of about 100 km from the moon’s surface. The soft landing is a tricky issue as it involves a series of complex manoeuvres consisting of rough and fine braking. Imaging of the landing site region prior to landing will be done for finding safe and hazard-free zones.
Subsequent to the soft landing, the six-wheeled rover will roll out and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day which is equal to 14 Earth days.