Chandrayaan 3 rocket’s body re-enters earth, falls in Pacific: ISRO | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan 3 rocket’s body re-enters earth, falls in Pacific: ISRO

Nov 16, 2023 02:55 PM IST

Chandrayaan 3's cryogenic upper stage made an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and expected to be landed in the North Pacific Ocean.

The Chandrayaan 3 launch vehicle's upper stage re-entered Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday as predicted in the North Pacific Ocean, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket carrying the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft lifting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state.(ISRO)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket carrying the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft lifting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state.(ISRO)

“The cryogenic upper stage of the LVM3 M4 launch vehicle made an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, around 14:42 IST Wednesday,” ISRO said in a statement.

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Chandrayaan 3 — India’s moonshot

Chandrayaan 3, India’s third lunar mission, blasted off from from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14. After about a month, the Vikram lander with the Pragyan Rover successfully landed on the moon on August 23. This made India the first country in world to land near the lunar South Pole and only fourth country to have controlled lunar landing.

The lander and rover entered sleep mode after completing 10 days of lunar exploration. Meanwhile, the propulsion module is still orbiting the moon after separating from the lander.

Chandrayaan 3 launch vehicle’s upper stage returns

“This rocket body (NORAD id 57321) was part of the vehicle that successfully injected the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into the intended orbit of 133 km x 35823 km with a 21.3 degree inclination on July 14,” ISRO said.

ISRO adheres to global compliances

ISRO said the rocket body re-entered Earth’s atmosphere within 124 days of launch, fully complying with the “25-year rule” for Low Earth Orbit objects recommended by Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC).

Post Chandrayaan-3 injection, the upper stage had also undergone “passivation” to remove all residual propellant and energy sources to minimise the risks of accidental explosions as per the space debris mitigation guidelines prescribed 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.

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