India's Chandrayaan-3, the third lunar mission, achieved a successful entry into the moon's orbit on Saturday. After three weeks of precise navigation spanning over 300,000 km in deep space, meticulously charted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission marked a significant milestone.
During the next 18 days, the probe's velocity will gradually decrease as it descends to a lower orbit, approximately 100 km above the moon's surface. This crucial maneuver is in preparation for the highly anticipated soft landing near the lunar south pole, scheduled for 5.47 pm on August 23.
Chandrayaan-3 achieves lunar orbit with success, as the next phase awaits on Sunday. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared the FIRST images of the Moon, captured by Chandrayaan-3, via microblogging site ‘X' (previously known as Twitter).
This significant milestone marks the successful entry of India's third unmanned Moon mission into lunar orbit, a remarkable 22 days after its launch. The mission sets its sights on a complex 41-day journey towards the lunar south pole, a region yet unexplored by any other nation.
The mission’s official X (formerly Twitter) handle announced, “Chandrayaan-3's Spectacular Lunar View: Captured During Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) on August 5, 2023”
On Saturday, Chandrayaan-3 sent a triumphant message to ISRO, expressing “I feel the lunar gravity,” marking the confirmation of its successful entry into lunar orbit.
Chandrayaan-3 conveyed to ISRO, “I am experiencing lunar gravity,” following a flawless maneuver executed from the space facility in Bengaluru, bringing it closer to the moon. This significant injection into the lunar orbit represents a pivotal achievement in the space agency's ambitious ₹600 crore mission.
ISRO announced in a tweet that the next operation, orbit reduction, is scheduled for 11 PM on Sunday. Following this maneuver of Chandrayaan-3, three more operations will be conducted until August 17, leading to the separation of the Landing Module Vikram, carrying the rover Pragyan, from the Propulsion Module.
Subsequently, de-orbiting maneuvers will be performed on the lander before the final powered descent onto the moon.
Since its launch on July 14, the spacecraft has traversed approximately two-thirds of the distance to the Moon, making the next 18 days critical for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
With a smooth progression so far, ISRO anticipates a soft landing of the Vikram lander on the lunar surface later this month, specifically on August 23.
The successful injection into the lunar orbit represents a significant milestone in ISRO's ambitious ₹600 crore Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission.