On Monday, ISRO scientists completed the fifth Earth-bound maneuver for Chandrayaan-3, elevating its altitude and moving it away from Earth. The spacecraft is expected to achieve an orbit of 1,27,609 km X 236 km, with confirmation pending after observations. The next step is the trans-lunar injection (TLI) scheduled for August 1, between 12 am and 1 am.
The TLI aims to slingshot the spacecraft towards the Moon. After a successful TLI, it will take more than five days for Chandrayaan-3 to reach lunar orbit, followed by a series of maneuvers before attempting landing on August 23.
Before Monday’s maneuver, ISRO had reported that on July 20, after the fourth Earth-bound operation, the spacecraft was in a 71,351 km X 233 km orbit. On July 18, at the end of the third maneuver, it was in a 51,400 km X 228 km orbit.
Chandrayaan-3 is distinct from Chandrayaan-2 as it consists of three modules: propulsion, lander, and rover. It weighs a total of 3,900 kg, with the propulsion module weighing 2,148 kg and the lander module, including the rover, weighing 1,752 kg.