Chandrayaan-3 mission is on schedule, systems are undergoing regular checks: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), shared the latest update on the Moon Mission and said that it is on schedule

Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), shared the latest update on the Moon Mission and said that it is on schedule and the systems are undergoing regular checks.

ISRO’s ambitious lander is all set to land on the lunar surface on Wednesday evening.

ISRO on Tuesday said, “Chandrayaan-3 Mission: The mission is on schedule. Systems are undergoing regular checks. Smooth sailing is continuing. The Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is buzzed with energy & excitement!”

“The live telecast of the landing operations at MOX/ISTRAC begins at 17:20 Hrs. IST on August 23, 2023. Here are the images of the moon captured by the Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC) from an altitude of about 70 km, on August 19, 2023.”

“LPDC images assist the Lander Module in determining its position (latitude and longitude) by matching them against an onboard moon reference map.”

According to ISRO Chairman S. Somanath, the lander will be able to soft land even if all its sensors and two engines fail.

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft comprises a propulsion module (weighing 2,148 kg), a lander (1,723.89 kg) and a rover (26 kg).

Recently, the lander module got detached from the propulsion module and the latter is also circling the moon at an altitude of 25 km x 134 km.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the lander will begin its moon landing descent at 5.45 p.m. on Wednesday and the touch down to happen at about 6.05 p.m.

The soft landing is a tricky issue as it involves a series of complex manoeuvres consisting of rough and fine braking.

Imaging of the landing site region prior to landing will be done for finding safe and hazard-free zones.

The Indian space agency said the powered descent of the lander will happen from an altitude of 25 km.

The lander will be hurtling at a speed about 1.6 seconds per km towards the moon, in a horizontal position. The officials seated in the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru will remotely apply the lander brakes by reducing the speed in a process called rough and fine braking.

The rough braking will be for about 11 minutes and the remaining will be fine braking.

The lander’s position will be changed to vertical and in that position, the craft will hover over the moon, taking pictures and surveying the landing zone to decide on a safe landing spot.

The lander carries the rover inside it and after safe landing on the moon, the rover is expected to roll down and do the scientific experiments assigned to it.

The primary communication channel will be the Mission Operations Complex at ISTRAC, Bengaluru to Chandrayaan-3 Propulsion Module which in turn would talk to the lander and the rover.

Recently, the moon lander established communication links with the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s Orbiter that is circling the moon since 2019 and thereby having a backup talking channel.

Meanwhile, the propulsion module of Chandrayaan-3 will go around the moon for some more period with its payload Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planetary Earth (SHAPE) doing its job.

The Chandrayaan-3 was put into orbit on July 14 in a copybook style by India’s heavy lift rocket LVM3. The spacecraft completed orbiting around the earth and headed towards the moon on August 1.

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