ISRO successfully completes second deboosting, moon landing set for August 23

The ISRO said it successfully reduced the orbit of the Chandrayaan-3 mission's Lander Module (LM), further bringing it nearer to the moon.

New Delhi: In a significant milestone, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Sunday that it has successfully brought the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Lander Module (LM) closer to the moon. The LM, consisting of the lander named ‘Vikram’ and the rover ‘Pragyan,’ is now poised to make its historic lunar touchdown on August 23rd.

This achievement comes after the LM separated from the Propulsion Module 35 days after its launch on July 14th. Following this separation, the lander is expected to undergo a crucial “deboost” operation to adjust its orbit. Specifically, ISRO aims to position the LM in an orbit where it will be closest to the Moon, known as Perilune, at 30 kilometers and farthest from the Moon, Apolune, at 100 kilometers. This carefully calculated orbit is essential for a safe soft landing on the Moon’s south polar region.

The intricate descent process involves the lander entering a powered braking phase at around 30 kilometers above the lunar surface, where it employs thrusters to steadily descend. When it reaches an altitude of approximately 100 meters, the lander will scan the lunar surface for any obstacles before initiating the final descent for a gentle landing.

Chandrayaan-3 embarked on its journey on July 14th and entered lunar orbit on August 5th. Subsequently, a series of orbit reduction maneuvers were carried out on August 6th, 9th, 14th, and 16th in preparation for the separation of the lander and rover modules on August 17th, paving the way for the anticipated landing on August 23rd.

The mission represents a follow-up to Chandrayaan-2, with Chandrayaan-3 designed to demonstrate India’s capabilities in achieving a safe lunar landing and rover exploration. The mission’s objectives include showcasing a secure and soft landing on the lunar surface, rover mobility on the Moon, and conducting on-site scientific experiments.

The lander is equipped to gently land at a predetermined lunar site and deploy the rover, which will perform chemical analyses of the Moon’s surface during its exploration. Both the lander and the rover carry scientific instruments to facilitate experiments on the lunar terrain.

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission marks an important step in India’s continued space exploration efforts and holds promise for scientific discoveries on our celestial neighbor, the Moon. Stay tuned for more updates as the mission approaches its historic landing date on August 23rd.

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