Chandrayaan-3 Spacecraft Achieves ‘Near-Circular Orbit’ Around Moon After Performing Another Manoeuvre

India’s space exploration efforts have once again made headlines as the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft successfully accomplished a critical manoeuvre, propelling it closer to the moon’s surface. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that Chandrayaan-3 is now in a “near-circular orbit” around the moon, marking another significant step forward in India’s lunar exploration journey.

Launch and Lunar Orbit

Chandrayaan-3 was launched on July 14 with great anticipation and excitement. On August 5, it entered the lunar orbit, initiating a sequence of intricate manoeuvres. Two crucial orbit reduction manoeuvres were carried out on August 6 and 9, setting the stage for the recent achievement.

Achieving a Near-Circular Orbit

In a tweet that reverberated across the scientific community, ISRO declared, “Orbit circularisation phase commences. Precise manoeuvre performed today has achieved a near-circular orbit of 150 km x 177 km.” This achievement demonstrates the remarkable precision and expertise of ISRO’s engineers and scientists.

The Path Forward

The journey of Chandrayaan-3 is far from over. ISRO has meticulously planned the next operation, scheduled for August 16 around 8:30 am. This step is part of a series of manoeuvres aimed at further reducing Chandrayaan-3’s orbit and strategically positioning it over the lunar poles.

Navigating Challenges

ISRO’s mission control is adeptly navigating the complexities of space exploration. According to sources within ISRO, another manoeuvre is planned for August 16, with the aim of reaching a 100 km orbit. Subsequently, the landing module, comprising the lander and rover, will detach from the propulsion module.

The Critical Landing Phase

As excitement builds for Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the moon’s surface, experts highlight the significance of the landing process. On August 23, the lander is expected to execute a “deboost” manoeuvre, a process of controlled deceleration, enabling a soft landing on the moon’s south polar region. ISRO Chairman S Somnath emphasized the intricacies of this phase, comparing it to a calculated “trick.”

Complex Calculations and Simulations

Somnath explained, “The velocity at the start of the landing process is almost 1.68 km per second, but this speed is horizontal to the surface of the moon. The Chandrayaan 3 here is tilted almost 90 degrees, it has to become vertical.” The transformation from horizontal to vertical requires intricate mathematical calculations and precise simulations. Learning from the challenges faced during Chandrayaan-2, ISRO has undertaken extensive simulations, altered guidance designs, and refined algorithms to ensure a successful landing.

A Journey of Precision

The journey leading to Chandrayaan-3’s current achievement involved meticulous planning and execution. Over five orbital adjustments within three weeks of the July 14 launch, ISRO propelled the spacecraft farther from Earth. Then, on August 1, a critical “slingshot move” redirected the spacecraft toward the moon, marking a pivotal moment.

A Follow-On Mission with Innovation

Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission from its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2. It aims to showcase India’s capabilities in safe lunar landing and rover mobility. Comprising an indigenous propulsion module, a lander module, and a rover, Chandrayaan-3 seeks to demonstrate and develop new inter-planetary technologies.

Advancing Lunar Exploration

The propulsion module will transport the lander and rover configuration to a 100 km lunar orbit. An essential payload, the Spectropolarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE), will conduct spectral and polarimetric measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit.

Mission Objectives

The objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are ambitious and scientifically significant. They include demonstrating a safe and gentle landing on the lunar surface, showcasing rover mobility on the moon, and conducting in-situ scientific experiments. The rover will conduct chemical analyses of the moon’s surface, enhancing our understanding of this celestial body.


India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission continues to capture the imagination of space enthusiasts worldwide. The recent achievement of achieving a near-circular orbit around the moon marks another triumph for ISRO. As the mission progresses, ISRO’s dedication to precision, innovation, and exploration remains unwavering. With each successful manoeuvre, Chandrayaan-3 brings humanity one step closer to unlocking the mysteries of the lunar landscape.


  • What is Chandrayaan-3’s main objective? Chandrayaan-3 aims to demonstrate safe landing, rover mobility, and conduct scientific experiments on the lunar surface.
  • What is the significance of achieving a near-circular orbit? A near-circular orbit enables stable and controlled movement around the moon, crucial for mission success.
  • How is Chandrayaan-3 different from its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2? Chandrayaan-3 focuses on showcasing end-to-end capabilities in lunar landing and rover mobility.
  • What challenges does the landing phase pose? The landing phase involves transforming the spacecraft’s horizontal velocity to vertical while ensuring fuel efficiency and precise calculations.
  • What’s the role of the SHAPE payload? The SHAPE payload will conduct measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit, providing valuable data for scientific research.

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