Chandrayaan-3 undergoes last Moon-bound maneouvre, prepares for propulsion and lander module seperation

Bengaluru: India’s ambitious third Moon mission’s spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 on Wednesday successfully underwent a fifth and final Moon-bound orbit maneouvre, bringing it even closer to the lunar surface.

With this, the spacecraft has completed its lunar-bound maneouvres and it will now prepare for the propulsion module and the lander module separation, ISRO said.

“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 gear up for their separate journeys,” the national space agency tweeted.

Separation of the lander module from the propulsion module of the spacecraft is planned for August 17, it said. Post its launch on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 entered into the lunar orbit on August 5, following which three successive orbit reduction manoeuvres were carried out on August 6, 9 and 14 to move closer to the Moon.

As the mission progresses, a series of manoeuvres is being conducted by ISRO to gradually reduce Chandrayaan-3’s orbit and position it over the lunar poles. The spacecraft is scheduled to make a soft landing on the south-polar region of the Moon on August 23.