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India's Chandrayaan-3 on Track for Lunar Landing: Nails Translunar Injection!

India's pursuit of its third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3, has taken a significant step forward as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully executed a crucial translunar injection. In the early hours of Tuesday, ISRO accomplished the spacecraft's orbits around the Earth, precisely placing it in the translunar orbit.

The milestone was achieved through a successful perigee-firing maneuver at the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network, carried out between midnight and 1 am. With this accomplishment, the mission has now entered a five-day transfer trajectory phase before proceeding to its moon-centric phase. The next critical event in this phase is the Lunar-Orbit Injection (LOI), which is scheduled for August 5, 2023.

During the moon-centric phase, the 2145.01-kg propulsion module will play a crucial role, carrying the lander and rover from the injection orbit to a 100-km lunar orbit. To achieve this, a series of maneuvers will be performed, aiming to bring the spacecraft to the targeted 100-km circular orbit. The ultimate goal is to attempt a landing on the lunar surface on August 23.

Chandrayaan-3 embarked on its journey on July 14, launching from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. ISRO successfully completed the mission's earth-bound maneuvers, including five of them, on July 25. This achievement resulted in an orbit of 127,603 km x 236 km.

The moon-centric phase is the upcoming stage in this lunar exploration mission, involving various maneuvers such as the moon-bound maneuver phase, separation of the lander module from the propulsion module, a de-boost phase, and a pre-landing phase before the final landing phase is initiated. The successful execution of these planned stages will pave the way for India's significant step forward in lunar exploration.

August 1, 2023
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