A piece of the rocket that put the Chandrayaan-3 into orbit has crashed into the North Pacific Ocean
A portion of India’s historic Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft made an “uncontrolled re-entry” into the Earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday and fell into the Pacific Ocean – almost three months after it took off for the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has said.
According to the space agency, the fallen object is a cryogenic upper stage of the LVM3 M4 launch vehicle that successfully injected the Chandrayaan-3 into its intended orbit in August.
The re-entry of the rocket body into the Earth’s atmosphere was “fully compliant” with the “25-year rule” for LEO (low Earth orbit) objects as recommended by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), the ISRO noted. The IADC, which coordinates efforts to deal with debris in orbit around the Earth, seeks to ensure that the post-operational life of such objects is no more than 25 years.
On August 23, India’s lunar mission made history by landing near the virtually unexplored south pole of the Moon, thereby becoming the fourth country – after the USSR, the US, and China – to make a landing on the lunar surface. A few days later, it confirmed the presence of sulfur in the region after on-site tests. It is now parked on the Moon and set on sleep mode.
Efforts to rev up the lander and rover were made at the end of September, but were ultimately in vain. As RT reported earlier, the instruments onboard the spacecraft did not respond to commands, even though the onboard batteries were fully charged and the solar panels were pointed at the Sun.
After the success of the Chandrayaan-3, which was carried out at a cost of just $75 million, the ISRO is considering collaborating with a Japanese space agency on its next mission to the Moon.
The joint Lunar Polar Exploration (Lupex) mission will aim to explore the Moon’s south pole and investigate how much water can be sourced locally from the lunar surface, India Today reports.
While the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will provide the lunar rover and launcher, the Isro will contribute the lander for the mission.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested his goal is to send the first Indian to the Moon by 2040. Towards this end, India’s Department of Space will develop a roadmap for Moon exploration, which will “encompass a series of Chandrayaan missions, the development of a next generation launch vehicle, construction of a new launch pad, setting up human-centric laboratories and associated technologies,” Modi’s office said in a statement in October. India is also looking to set up its own space station by 2035.
November 16, 2023 at 08:59PM