New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday revealed that they carried out an evasive measure to avoid a collision between Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The Indian space agency disclosed that Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter and NASA's LRO were predicted to come close to each other near the Lunar North Pole on October 20,2021.

“A very close conjunction between Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter (CH2O) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of NASA was expected to occur on October 20 at 05:45 UTC (11:15 am IST) near the Lunar North pole. Over a span of one week prior to the conjunction, analyses by both Isro and JPL/NASA consistently showed that the radial separation between the spacecraft would be less than 1000 m and the closest approach distance would only about 3 KM at the aforementioned time of closet approach," Isro statement reads.

Both the space agencies agreed that the situation warranted a collision avoidance manoeuvre (CAM), after which, on October 18, 2021, Isro's orbiter was moved away.

"The manoeuvre was scheduled on October 18, 2021. It was designed to ensure a sufficiently large radial separation at the next closest conjunction between the spacecraft. The CAM was executed nominally at 8.22 pm (IST). After orbit determination 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," Isro said.

Chandrayaan-2 and LRO orbit the Moon in a nearly polar orbit, and hence both the spacecraft end up coming close to each other over the Lunar Poles.

It is common for satellites in Earth orbit to undergo CAM to reduce the risk of collisions caused by space objects, including space debris and operational spacecraft. ISRO keeps a close eye on such cases, and changes are made depending on the risk factors.

Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen