Chandrayaan-2 collision with NASA lunar orbiter PREVENTED! | Tech News

Chandrayaan-2 collision with NASA lunar orbiter PREVENTED!

Chandrayaan-2 orbiter possible collision with NASA lunar orbiter was avoided with a change in the orbit 

By: AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 22:03 IST
On September 18, 2021, ISRO had to perform an orbit adjustment in a bit to avoid a potential collision with the NASA LRO over the Lunar pole.
On September 18, 2021, ISRO had to perform an orbit adjustment in a bit to avoid a potential collision with the NASA LRO over the Lunar pole. (ISRO)

The Chandrayaan-2 has avoided a collision with the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) while circling the Moon. On September 18, 2021, ISRO had to perform an orbit adjustment in a bit to avoid a potential collision with the NASA LRO over the Lunar pole. Predictions suggested that both the spacecraft would come very close to each other on September 20.

Previous calculations by ISRO and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) suggested that the radial separation between these two spacecraft would be under 100m. Moreover, the closest approach distance would measure 3km on October 20, 2021, at 11.15 am IST.

Chandrayaan-2 avoids collision

After a mutual agreement between ISRO and NASA, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter had to be moved away to a much safer distance. The manoeuvre was carried out on October 18 and post that, it is said that these two spacecraft will be safely distant from each other in the near future.

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ISRO confirms that with the post-manoeuvre data received, Chandrayaan-2 will not have such close conjuctions with the NASA LRO.

“The manoeuvre was scheduled on 18th October 2021, it was designed to ensure a sufficiently large radial separation at the next closest conjunction between the two spacecraft. The CAM was executed nominally at 14:52 UTC (8:22 pm IST), on October 18th. After orbit determination of CH2O with post-manoeuvre tracking data, it was reconfirmed that there would be no further close conjunctions with LRO in the near future with the achieved orbit,” said ISRO.

“It is common for satellites in Earth Orbit to undergo Collision Avoidance Manoeuvres to mitigate collision risk due to space objects including space debris and operational spacecraft. ISRO regularly monitors such critical close approaches and execute CAMs for its operational satellites whenever the collision risk is assessed to be critical. However, this is the first time such a critically close conjunction was experienced for a space exploration mission of ISRO which necessitated an evasive manoeuvre,” added ISRO.

Chandrayaan-2 was launched back in 2019, in which its original mission was to land the Vikram lander on the moon along with the Pragyan Lunar rover. The orbiter continues to stay in action but the lander crashed after a software glitch. ISRO is likely to attempt another lunar landing in 2022 with Chandrayaan 3.

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First Published Date: 17 Nov, 09:28 IST
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