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Chandrayaan-3 gets closer to moon, achieves near-circular orbit: ISRO

Chandrayaan-3 gets closer to moon, achieves near-circular orbit: ISRO

Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday said that the process of putting the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft in a circular orbit around the moon has begun.

The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency said the spacecraft has now achieved a "near-circular orbit" around the Moon.

Post its launch on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 had entered into lunar orbit on August 5, following which two orbit reduction manoeuvres were carried out on the spacecraft on August 6 and 9.

The Indian space agency also said its Aditya-L1 spacecraft -- the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun -- is getting ready for the launch.

“Orbit circularisation phase commences. Precise manoeuvres performed today have achieved a near-circular orbit of 150 km x 177 km. The next operation is planned for August 16, 2023, around 0830 Hrs. IST,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) tweeted.

The spacecraft comprises a propulsion module (weighing 2,148 kg), a lander (1,723.89 kg) and a rover (26 kg).

On attaining the required orbit, the lander will get separated from the propulsion module and later will be expected to make a soft landing near the South Pole of the moon on August 23 at 5.47 p.m.

Also Read: Spectacular video of Chandrayaan-3 launch recorded from plane window, goes viral

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.

The Chandrayaan-3 was put into orbit on July 14 in a copybook style by India's heavy lift rocket LVM3. The spacecraft completed orbiting around the earth and headed towards the moon on August 1. On that day a successful perigee-firing performed at ISTRAC, the ISRO had injected the spacecraft into the translunar orbit.

Be that as it may, ISRO also said its Aditya-L1 spacecraft- the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun, is getting ready for the launch.

“The satellite realised at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru has arrived at SDSC-SHAR (India’s rocket port), Sriharikota,” ISRO said.

ISRO will be sending up its Aditya-L1, a coronagraphy satellite, on a PSLV rocket to study the solar atmosphere towards the end of August or early September.

According to ISRO, the spacecraft will be placed into a halo orbit around the first Lagrange point, L1, of the Sun-Earth system.

The satellite around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without occultation/eclipses.

The Aditya-L1 mission is slated to happen a couple of days after ISRO attempts to land on the lunar soil its lander that is being carried by the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft.

Also Read: Chandrayaan-3 exits Earth's orbit, heading towards the moon

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