Isro scientists on Sunday completed the second manoeuvre around Earth to push Chandrayaan-3‘s altitude at the closest point to Earth (perigee) in its current elliptical orbit.
This was a minor operation compared to the one carried out Saturday. The onboard thrusters were fired for about 42 seconds and the perigee of Chandrayaan-3 is now around 220km, multiple scientists confirmed to TOI.
Isro scientists had Saturday had completed the first Earth-bound manoeuvre to increase the altitude and took Chandrayaan-3 further away from Earth in its 3.8-lakh-km journey towards Moon
The operation, which was carried out to increase the spacecraft‘s apogee (farthest point from Earth) began at around 12.05pm as planned and lasted for 11-and-a-half minutes, multiple scientists confirmed to TOI.
After Saturday’s manoeuvre, “Spacecraft is now in 41762km x 173km orbit,” Isro had said.
“The spacecraft is healthy and today’s manoeuvre went as planned. Further analysis of data is being carried out for the next few manoeuvres,” one scientist said.
And TOI had reported that if all goes as planned, scientists will carry out a minor burning of onboard propulsion systems on Sunday to increase the perigee (closest point to Earth). It will be pushed to about 220km from the current position. This has been since achieved.
“The perigee will then remain stable. The remaining three manoeuvres we’ve planned will all be for apogee raising,” another scientist said.
The three other operations around Earth, as reported by TOI earlier, are planned for July 18, 20 and 25 to push apogee to around 1-lakh-km before Isro attempts to slingshot the spacecraft towards Moon, in the intervening night of July 31 and August 1.