Recently, ISRO has averted a possible collision between Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
- The collision of these two orbiters has been prevented by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) through the Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre (CAM).
- ISRO did this after knowing that the closest approach distance to the Moon’s north pole was only 3 km remaining, otherwise there was an absolute possibility of a collision between the two orbiters.
- 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 other active spacecraft.
- However, this is the first time such an extremely probable collision was experienced for ISRO’s space exploration mission.
- This mission was launched in the year 2019 in a single mission with the aim of studying all its regions including the exosphere, surface and subsurface of the Moon.
- Chandrayaan-2 consisted of an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) to explore the obscure south pole of the Moon.
- Although the spacecraft in the mission failed in its soft landing on the surface of the Moon, its orbiter (which is a vital part of the mission) has successfully continued to collect and transmit important information about the Moon to this day.
LRO Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is a robotic spacecraft from NASA. It is currently orbiting the Moon in an eccentric polar mapping orbit.
Kessler Syndrome: A condition in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit is so high that collisions between objects cause a cascade effect. Each collision generates debris in space, increasing the likelihood of further collisions.
Source – The Hindu