Chandrayaan-3’s Moon landing in 3 Days: India aims to make lunar history
India's Chandrayaan-3 mission prepares for an historic Moon landing in three days, aiming to join the ranks of of other top achiever countries like US, Russia, and China.
India's Chandrayaan-3 mission is gearing up for its first-ever soft landing on the Moon in just three days. Over the weekend, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared exciting news about the successful completion of the mission's second and final deboosting operation. After a few more checks, the module will begin its powered descent on August 23.
Crucial Milestone Achieved
Chandrayaan-3's Vikram lander module, part of India's third lunar exploration, achieved this critical milestone in its journey that began on July 14. The lander, named Vikram, is now in an orbit where its closest point to the Moon is 25 kilometers, and the farthest is 134 kilometers. It's from this orbit that it will attempt a gentle landing in the uncharted south polar region of the Moon on Wednesday.
ISRO's Confidence in Success
ISRO expressed its confidence in a successful mission, stating, "The second and final deboosting operation has successfully reduced the LM orbit to 25 km x 134 km. The module would undergo internal checks and await the sunrise at the designated landing site. The powered descent is expected to commence on August 23, 2023, around 1745 Hrs. IST."
Leaving a Mark on the Moon
Once safely on the Moon's surface, the Pragyan rover will do more than just collect data. It will also leave its mark, imprinting theISRO emblem and India's national emblem, the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, symbolizing India's presence on the lunar landscape.
Aiming for Lunar History
Achieving a successful Moon landing would be a historic feat for India, making it the fourth country to accomplish this remarkable feat.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission holds significant promise. Dr. Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai, former Chief Controller of Research and Development at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), highlighted its importance by saying that it "will enable the identification of various lunar resources, particularly Helium-3, which holds promise as a future energy source."
Earlier in the week, the lander module separated from the propulsion module that carried it all the way from Earth. The propulsion module will continue to orbit Earth, studying its atmosphere and measuring light polarization from clouds for months or even years.
First Glimpse of the Moon
Following this detachment, the lander shared its initial images of the Moon. Once on the lunar surface, the Vikram lander will capture photographs of the Pragyaan rover, which will study the Moon's surface chemistry and search for water. Its mission lifespan is one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days.
Chandrayaan-3 embarked on its journey from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14 and entered lunar orbit on August 5. The countdown to this historic lunar landing is now down to just three days.