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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Chandrayaan-3 Nears Lunar Surface: Successful Manoeuvre Sets Up Soft Landing

In a tweet on Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has successfully performed the final moon-bound maneuver. The Indian space agency stated in a tweet that the successful firing, which was only necessary for a short period of time, had placed the spacecraft in its intended orbit of 153 km x 163 km, bringing it even closer to the lunar surface.

“It’s time for preparations as the Propulsion Module and Lander Module gear up for their separate journeys,” ISRO noted. Following that, the Propulsion Module and Lander Module will be separated on Thursday, August 17. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was launched on July 14 last month and will attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface on August 23.

On August 5, it initially entered lunar orbit. Following that, on August 6, 9, and 14, it performed three sequential orbit reduction maneuvers as it moved closer to the Moon. Following today’s maneuver, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh tweeted, “A step closer towards the MOON!”

The Chandrayaan-3 project is India’s third lunar mission and a follow-up to the Chandrayaan-2 mission launched in 2019. If India succeeds in soft-landing this time, it will be the first country to do it near the South Pole. The Chandrayaan-2 mission was partially canceled after its lander and rover failed to settle softly on the Moon.

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