Chandrayaan 3’s rocket part forcibly re-enters earth’s atmosphere

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Devanjana Mukherjee, Khabri Media

The space agency assured the public that there is no immediate threat to safety, as the uncontrolled re-entry occurred in an uninhabited area.

Pic: Social Media

The cryogenic upper stage of the LVM3 M4 launch vehicle made an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, around 2.42 pm today. The probable impact point was predicted over the North Pacific Ocean. To subscribe please click and access our live channel.

The re-entry of the rocket body took place within 124 days of its launch. The post-mission orbital lifetime of the LVM3 M4 cryogenic upper stage is, thus, fully compliant with the “25-year rule” for low-Earth orbit objects as recommended by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC).

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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 21.3o inclination on July 14, 2023 being the third lunar exploration mission by India, that was poised to build upon the successes of its predecessors, Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2.

It further added that 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.

Pic: Social Media

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. 

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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. The launch has made India the first country in world to land near the lunar South Pole and only fourth country to have controlled lunar landing.

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