Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module set for deboosting process ahead of historic Moon landing
Chandrayaan-3's Lander Module has separated and is heading for the lunar deboosting maneuver. The historic soft landing will mark a critical milestone in India's lunar missions.
In a significant step towards an ambitious lunar feat, India's Chandrayaan-3 mission achieved a pivotal milestone as its Lander Module, housing the Pragyan rover, successfully disengaged from the Propulsion Module. This separation maneuver positions the mission on a trajectory for an unparalleled soft landing on the moon's south pole, scheduled for August 23.
Preparation for Descent
The Lander Module, consisting of the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover, is now poised to enter a lower orbit, drawing it closer to the moon's surface. The eagerly awaited soft landing is slated for 5.47 pm next Wednesday.
When the lander separated from its mother craft, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) humorously remarked, "Thanks for the ride, mate!" The Lander Module's detachment from the Propulsion Module marks the start of a deboosting procedure, scheduled around 1600 Hrs IST the following day. This deboosting process entails a controlled reduction in the module's velocity.
Following the separation, the lander will undergo a deboosting maneuver, slowing it down and aligning it for an orbit with a Perilune of 30 km (closest point to the Moon) and an Apolune of 100 km (farthest point). From this trajectory, the historic soft landing attempt will be orchestrated over the moon's south polar region.
Chandrayaan-3's Unique Mission
Chandrayaan-3, which cost an estimated Rs. 600 crore, embarked on its journey on July 14, undertaking a complex 41-day voyage to reach the moon's elusive south pole.
The significance of this mission lies in its aim to demonstrate safe and controlled landing on the lunar surface, enabling rover exploration and in-situ scientific studies. Chandrayaan-2 faced challenges during its lunar phase, but Chandrayaan-3 seeks to rectify this setback and attain mastery in soft-landing technology, a domain presently occupied by the US, China, and the former Soviet Union.
Russia's Luna-25 is also poised for lunar landings in the same timeframe, intensifying the competition in lunar exploration. The uncharted terrain of the moon's south pole presents both challenges and potential scientific discoveries, including the presence of water in shadow areas.
Crucial Deboosting Phase
The upcoming deboosting process marks a pivotal moment in Chandrayaan-3's journey, setting the stage for the historic soft landing. This mission stands as a testament to India's advancements in space technology and its pursuit of scientific excellence on the lunar frontier.