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First Glimpses of the Moon From ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3: What Are Its Next Milestones?

Chandrayaan-3, India’s lunar mission launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), recently shared some stunning captures of the Moon. Here’s what we can expect next.

First Glimpses of the Moon From ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3: What Are Its Next Milestones?

On 5 August, 2023, Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s mission, successfully entered the lunar orbit, marking another significant milestone in its journey.

On 6 August, 2023, it entered a translunar orbit, starting its journey towards the Moon after completing several Earth orbits since it was launched on 14 July, 2023.

A video shared by ISRO on X (formerly Twitter) shows the visuals of the Moon’s surface from various angles, captured by Chandrayaan-3 during the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI).

“The spacecraft successfully underwent a planned orbit reduction manoeuvre. The retrofitting of engines brought it closer to the moon’s surface, now to 170 km x 4313 km. The next operation to further reduce the orbit is scheduled for August 9, 2023, between 13:00 and 14:00 Hrs IST,” said ISRO in a tweet.

What happens next?

“Chandrayaan has many critical events lined up, including earth-bound manoeuvres, insertion into the lunar orbit, separation of the lander, a set of deboost manoeuvres and a power descent phase for a soft landing,” said P Veeramuthuvel, project director of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft to The Indian Express.

During the next few weeks, the spacecraft will go around the Moon to reduce its velocity in orbit and prepare for a soft landing on its surface. This orbiting will continue till Chandrayaan-3 reaches a circular orbit of 100 km.

Once this is achieved, the lander and rover will descend to the surface of the Moon, after being separated from the propulsion module. Chandrayaan-3 is expected to reach the Moon’s surface by 23 August 2023.

Upon successful completion, India will become the fourth country to achieve a lunar soft landing after the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China. Both the United States and the former Soviet Union failed many times before they successfully landed on the Moon. China was the only country to succeed in its first attempt with the Chang’e-3 mission in 2013.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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