India’s ambitious Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission achieved a significant milestone on Wednesday as it successfully completed its fifth and final orbital adjustment, bringing it even closer to its ultimate target – the lunar surface.
This accomplishment marks a pivotal step forward in the mission. Having completed the required orbital maneuvers, the spacecraft is now poised to enter the subsequent phase, during which the propulsion module will separate from the lander module, in accordance with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s plans.
The lander module consists of two integral components: the lander itself, named Vikram, and the rover called Pragyan.
In a tweet, ISRO stated, “Today’s successful propulsion firing, of a brief duration, has positioned Chandrayaan-3 in its intended orbit of 153 km x 163 km. With this achievement, the lunar-bound maneuvers are concluded. Now, preparations are underway as both the Propulsion Module and the Lander Module gear up for their independent journeys.” The separation of the lander module from the spacecraft’s propulsion module is scheduled for August 17.
Today’s successful firing, needed for a short duration, has put Chandrayaan-3 into an orbit of 153 km x 163 km, as intended.
With this, the lunar bound maneuvres are completed.
It’s time for preparations as the Propulsion Module and the Lander Module… pic.twitter.com/0Iwi8GrgVR
— ISRO (@isro) August 16, 2023
Following its launch on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 entered lunar orbit on August 5. Subsequently, on August 6, 9, and 14, three successive orbital reduction maneuvers were executed to progressively approach the Moon.
As the mission progresses, ISRO is executing a series of maneuvers aimed at gradually decreasing Chandrayaan-3’s orbital altitude and aligning it with the lunar poles.
The mission’s ultimate objective is to facilitate a controlled and gentle landing within the southern polar region of the Moon, scheduled for August 23.