India’s ambitious space mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-3, is a week away from landing on the moon as it reduced its orbit to 153 kmX163 km. The separation of the propulsion module from the Vikram(the lander) is to be followed by this on Thursday. The Lander, Vikram, houses the rover, Pragyan. Pagyan, upon landing, will roam along the surface of the moon to collect information, as the Chandyaan lands.
The official Twitter page of ISRO, sharing this accomplishment tweeted, “Chandrayaan-3 has successfully entered the short-duration orbit of 153 km x 163 km that was targeted thanks to today’s successful firing. The lunar maneuvers are finished with this.” The Organisation also shared its next steps, where they said that they have started the preparations to separate the propulsion module from the landing module, which is to take place on 17th August 2023.
Also read about recent developments in Chandrayaan-3 mission: Chandrayaan-3: A step closer to moon landing and vikram separation
There are now just seven days till the landing module tries to touch down on the moon’s surface on August 23. Following the maneuver on Wednesday, ISRO will carry out another maneuver for lander separation on Thursday, after which Vikram will once more need to be placed into an elliptical orbit. To do this, ISRO will once more perform maneuvers to position the landing module.
The landing will be attempted as the lander reaches an Apolune of 30km and a perilune of 100km. Noting that in an elliptical orbit, the Apolune is the farthest point from the celestial body and a Perilune is the nearest point from the celestial body. An important step in the landing of the lander would be changing the configuration of the Vikram from Horizontal to Vertical, providing a stable base for the lander.
Chandrayaan-3 has been in space for 33 days as of this past Wednesday. Following its July 14 launch, Chandrayaan-3 underwent five Earth-bound maneuvers between July 15 and July 25, increasing its altitude to more than 1.2 lakh kilometers at its furthest point from the planet. On August 1, it underwent a trans-lunar injection (TLI), which put it on a course toward the moon at an altitude of almost 3.6 lakh kilometers, before the lunar orbit insertion (LOI), which placed it in an elliptical orbit around the moon on August 5. Since the satellite’s Lunar Orbit Insertion, the satellite has been in an elliptical orbit and reducing its Apolune from the moon, after the maneuvers on Wednesday the orbit became a circular one.