GSLV’s Cryogenic Upper Stage during coasting phase before injecting payload into intended orbit
An uncontrolled re-entry of the cryogenic upper stage of the LVM-3-M4 launch vehicle took place. The launch vehicle is what successfully placed the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into orbit on July 14 this year. The re-entry occurred within 124 days of its launch, complying entirely with the “25-year rule” for low-Earth orbit objects
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reported the uncontrolled re-entry of the cryogenic upper stage of the LVM-3-M4 launch vehicle, which successfully placed the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into orbit on July 14 this year.
The ISRO indicated that the probable impact area was anticipated to be over the North Pacific Ocean, and the final trajectory did not cross over India, as stated in their released statement.
This rocket component formed part of the LVM-3-M4 launch vehicle and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere at approximately 14:42 IST.
The re-entry occurred within 124 days of its launch, complying entirely with the “25-year rule” for low-Earth orbit objects, as per the guidelines recommended by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), ISRO affirmed.
Following the Chandrayaan-3 injection, the upper stage underwent “passivation” to eliminate any remaining propellant and energy sources, adhering to space debris mitigation guidelines set by the United Nations and IADC.
”Passivation and post-mission disposal of this rocket body in adherence to the internationally accepted guidelines once again reaffirms India’s commitment to preserve the long-term sustainability of outer space activities,” the ISRO said in a statement.
Chandrayaan-3 marks India’s third mission to the moon, aiming for a soft landing on its surface for the second time. Departing from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14, 2023, the spacecraft smoothly entered lunar orbit by August 5, 2023. The monumental moment arrived when the lander achieved a flawless touchdown near the lunar south pole on August 23, 2023.
Chandrayaan-3 Key Objectives
– Showcase a secure and gentle landing on the lunar surface.
– Demonstrate rover mobility and exploration on the moon.
– Conduct on-site scientific experiments.
Chandrayaan-3 Significant Discoveries
– Lunar Surface Temperature Surprise: ChaSTE recorded temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius, challenging earlier expectations of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius.
– Confirmation of Lunar Surface Elements: The Pragyan rover’s Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy confirmed the presence of Sulphur near the lunar south pole. Additionally, it detected elements like Aluminium, Calcium, Iron, Chromium, Titanium, Manganese, Silicon, and Oxygen.