Segment of Chandrayaan-3 Launch Vehicle Experiences Uncontrolled Re-entry into Earth’s Atmosphere

Segment of Chandrayaan-3 Launch Vehicle Experiences Uncontrolled Re-entry into Earth's Atmosphere.

In an orchestrated conclusion to its mission, the cryogenic upper stage of ISRO’s LVM3 M4 launch vehicle, responsible for successfully placing the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft into orbit on July 14, executed an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The re-entry event occurred at approximately 14:42 IST, with the predicted impact point located over the North Pacific Ocean, ensuring the final ground track bypassed India. The rocket body, an integral part of the LVM-3 M4 launch vehicle, met its atmospheric return within 124 days of its initial launch.

Crucially, the post-mission orbital lifespan of the LVM3 M4 cryogenic upper stage adheres completely to the “25-year rule” outlined by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) for objects in low-Earth orbit. This demonstrates ISRO’s commitment to responsible space activities and debris mitigation. Following the injection of Chandrayaan-3, the upper stage underwent a process called “passivation.” This technique involves eliminating all residual propellant and energy sources to mitigate the potential risks of accidental explosions. This practice aligns with the space debris mitigation guidelines mandated by the United Nations and IADC.

ISRO’s adherence to these internationally accepted guidelines not only ensures the safety of orbital activities but also underscores India’s dedication to the long-term sustainability of outer space endeavors. The deliberate actions taken in passivation and post-mission disposal reflect ISRO’s commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of its space missions.

The incident also highlights ISRO’s meticulous planning and execution, ensuring that the re-entry event aligns with established safety protocols. As the organization continues to contribute significantly to space exploration and technology, its latest achievement reaffirms its pledge to global standards in space activities. In summary, ISRO’s strategic disposal of the Chandrayaan-3 rocket stage showcases its responsible approach to space debris management, emphasizing its commitment to ensuring the sustainability and safety of activities in outer space.

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