The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said that a part of the launch vehicle of the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission re-entered into the Earth’s atmosphere this week. SRO said that the cryogenic upper stage of the LVM3 M4 launch vehicle made an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on November 15.
“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,” ISRO said.
This part of the launch vehicle successfully injected the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into the intended orbit at 133 km x 35,823 km on July 14 this year. This rocket body was part of the LVM-3 M4 launch vehicle. According to ISRO, the final ground track did not pass over India.
Re-entry within 124 days of launch
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 LEO (Low Earth Orbit) objects as recommended by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), ISRO added.
The Indian space agency said 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,” ISRO added.
Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 and just over a month after, on August 23, the Vikram lander touched down the lunar surface and deployed Pragyan rover, becoming the first country ever to land near the South Pole of the Moon.
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