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Watch: Chandrayaan-3 observed in deep space by Polish telescope


Chandrayaan-3 recently completed its final earth-bound orbit-raising move and now it is set to slingshot and embark on its lunar journey. A group of private astronomers using the Polish ROTUZ (Panoptes-4) telescope spotted the spacecraft cruising through space. Sybilla Technologies, the company operating the telescope, shared a video capturing Chandrayaan-3 as a small dot amidst the vastness of space and stars on Tuesday.

Chandrayaan-3 as observed by the Polish ROTUZ (Panoptes-4) telescope(Twitter/@sybilla_tech)
Chandrayaan-3 as observed by the Polish ROTUZ (Panoptes-4) telescope(Twitter/@sybilla_tech)

Scott Tilley, a member of the observation team, provided a trajectory update on Wednesday, mentioning that the spacecraft passed through its first apogee of the new orbit, spending many hours in deep space, drifting through his field of view.

ALSO READ- Chandrayaan-3: Why did Chandrayaan-2 lander fail? Why is it so difficult to land on Moon?

Responding to the question if everything is going as per the desired output, he said, using Doppler methods that would be difficult to claim. “Even if there were minor deviations in apogee achieved vs. desired, you’d simply correct in the next burn and so on… A failure would be a radical difference detected that places the s/c fuel margins at risk or places it in an orbit that compromises the mission.”

Chadrayaan-3 successfully completed the final earth-bound orbit-raising move

India’s third moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Station in Sriharikota on July 14 and is expected to make a soft landing on the moon’s South Pole with a lander and rover on August 23.

The spacecraft completed five orbit-raising manoeuvres around earth on Tuesday and is now preparing for lunar insertion. According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it has achieved an orbit of 1,27,603 km x 236 km, with the farthest and closest points in its elliptical orbit.

Its next step is to shift to an earth-to-moon trajectory, where the Moon’s gravity will eventually pull it into lunar orbit, with the ultimate goal of achieving a soft landing on the lunar surface.

What are the next steps in the Chandrayaan-3 mission?

Chandrayaan-3 will fire its thrusters on August 1 to leave Earth’s gravity and head towards the moon. After entering the moon’s gravity, it will move into lunar orbit, completing 5-6 circles around the moon by the first week of August. Over the following 10 days, the spacecraft will identify the exact landing spot in the Moon’s south pole area, as stated by Union Space Minister Jitendra Singh.

Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface on August 23 at 5:47 pm IST, but the timing may change based on the moon’s sunrise. If there’s a delay, ISRO will reschedule the landing for September.


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