ISRO on Tuesday successfully performed the fifth orbit-raising manoeuvre of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, setting the stage for its planned August 1 journey towards the Moon after leaving Earth's orbit. Each of these manoeuvres is meant to lift the spacecraft farther from Earth's orbit and closer to Moon's orbit.
The Bengaluru-headquartered national space agency said the manoeuvre, which is known as Earth-bound perigee firing, was performed from the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) located here.
"The spacecraft is expected to attain an orbit of 127609 km X 236 km. The achieved orbit will be confirmed after the observations", it said.
"The next firing, the TransLunar Injection (TLI), is planned for August 1, 2023, between 12 midnight and 1 am IST," said ISRO, which had launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon on July 14.
An ISRO official told PTI that following the TLI, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft would leave Earth's orbit and follow a path that would take it to the vicinity of the Moon.
In other words, the spacecraft would begin its journey towards the Moon on August one, after leaving the Earth's orbit following the TLI maneuver, which would place it on "lunar transfer trajectory".
The ISRO has said it would attempt soft-landing of the lander on the Moon's surface on August 23.
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