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Chandrayaan-3 clears Earth orbit and heads closer to Moon

India's space science to get a boost

Chandrayaan-3 has completed its orbits around the earth and is now headed closer to the moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Tuesday. 

“A successful perigee-firing performed at ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network). ISRO has injected the spacecraft into the translunar orbit,” it said.

“Next stop: the moon. As it arrives at the moon, the Lunar-Orbit Insertion (LOI) is planned for August 5, 2023,” ISRO added.

The Chandrayaan-3 is expected to reach the lunar orbit on August 5 and the spacecraft’s liquid engine will be fired again to insert the spacecraft into a lunar orbit.

“The Lunar-Orbit Insertion (LOI) is planned for Aug 5, 2023,” ISRO added.

After this there will be four orbit manoeuvres to make the spacecraft enter into its final orbit at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon’s surface.

Earlier, the spacecraft’s orbit was progressively increased five times after the Chandrayaan-3 mission to Moon was launched on July 14.

ISRO scientists had completed the fifth and final orbit-raising manoeuvre of the spacecraft from Earth on July 25.

Chandrayaan-3 is expected to reach the Moon’s South Pole for a soft landing with a lander and rover on the lunar surface by August 23-24.

The successful landing will make India only the fourth country in the world after the United States, Russia and China to land a spacecraft on the surface of the moon.

Upon landing, the lander named ‘Vikram’ will deploy its four scientific payloads to study the moon’s surface temperature and subterranean characteristics.

The 6-wheeled Rover ‘Pragyan’ will come out to explore the moon, using chemical tests, for 14 days. The Rover is equipped with multiple cameras that will send back images to earth. It is backed by a solar panel to charge its battery.