BENGALURU: As Chandrayaan-3 makes its way towards the lunar surface, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released the first-ever pictures of the Moon taken by the spacecraft. On Sunday, the official Twitter account for Chandrayaan-3 (@chandrayaan_3) posted a series of images taken by the spacecraft, including parts of the dark side of the Moon.
The spacecraft, as part of ISRO’s Chandrayaan lunar exploration programme, arrived at the Moon’s orbit on Saturday and completed its first lunar orbit manoeuvre late on Sunday night. According to ISRO, the orbit reduction manoeuvre was completed successfully, bringing the spacecraft closer to the Moon’s surface, at a distance of 170km x 4313km.
“The spacecraft successfully underwent a planned orbit reduction manoeuvre. The retrofiring of engines brought it closer to the Moon’s surface, to 170 km x 4313 km. The next operation to further reduce the orbit is scheduled for August 9, between 1300 and 1400 Hrs. IST,” the space organisation said.
Chandrayaan-3 is the third mission in the Chandrayaan programme, carrying a propulsion module, lander and rover. The spacecraft is ISRO’s second attempt at performing a soft landing on the lunar surface and deploying a rover. It is also the first-ever attempt by any country at a soft landing on the South Pole of the lunar surface.