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What is TransLunar Injection (TLI)?

Context:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently performed the TransLunar Injection (TLI) to slingshot Chandrayaan-3 towards the moon.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. TransLunar Injection (TLI): A Critical Step in Lunar Missions
  2. The Process of TLI
  3. Trajectory After TLI

TransLunar Injection (TLI): A Critical Step in Lunar Missions

  • TransLunar Injection (TLI) is a crucial manoeuvre in space missions that enables spacecraft to travel from Earth’s orbit to a trajectory that will take them to the Moon.
  • It is a key step in lunar missions, allowing spacecraft to escape Earth’s gravitational pull and set out on their journey toward the Moon.
  • The TLI is performed when the spacecraft is at the closest point to Earth, known as the perigee.
The Process of TLI:
  • During the TLI, the spacecraft’s propulsion system fires its engines to accelerate the spacecraft.
  • The spacecraft gains sufficient speed to break free from Earth’s gravitational pull, propelling it towards the Moon.
  • The thrust and duration of the TLI burn depend on factors like the spacecraft’s mass, velocity in Earth’s orbit, and mission objectives.
Trajectory After TLI:
  • After a successful TLI, the spacecraft is placed on a lunar trajectory, continuing its journey to the Moon without further propulsion from Earth.
  • The spacecraft enters a transfer orbit, an elliptical path intersecting with the Moon’s orbit.
  • It continues to travel in this highly eccentric orbit until it reaches the Moon’s surface.
  • As the spacecraft approaches the Moon, additional manoeuvres like lunar orbit insertion (LOI) may be performed to enter lunar orbit or land on the lunar surface, based on mission goals.
Success of TLI in Lunar Missions:
  • TLI has been successfully performed in various lunar missions, including the Apollo missions, the Chang’e missions, and the Artemis missions.

-Source: The Hindu


 

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