Monday, 2 October, 2023

Chandrayaan-3 completes final lunar orbital move

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 20th August, 2023 01:52:15 PM
  • Print news

The second and final de-boosting operation of India's Moon mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully completed this morning, as scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) closely monitored the critical phase ahead of the spacecraft's landing on the lunar surface on Wednesday.

The lander Vikram has placed itself in an orbit where the closest point to the Moon is 25 km and the farthest is 134 km. It is from this orbit that it will try a soft-landing in the unexplored south polar region of the Moon on Wednesday, ISRO has said.

"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 sun-rise at the designated landing site. The powered descent is expected to commence on August 23, 2023, around 1745 Hrs. IST," ISRO posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The lander Vikram has been descending in the Moon's orbit in an automated mode; it has been deciding on its own how to go about its functions.

During the first de-boosting operation on Friday, former ISRO chief K Sivan told NDTV that the Chandrayaan-3 lander's design is the same as the one used in the previous Chandrayaan-2 mission.

"There is no change in design. Based on observations from Chandrayaan-2, all errors that took place in the mission have been corrected," he said.

A successful Moon landing will make India the historic fourth country to have achieved this feat.

On Thursday, the lander module separated from the propulsion module that had carried it all the way from Earth. The propulsion module will now continue orbiting Earth for months or even years, and study its atmosphere and measure the polarisation of light from clouds.

Following the detachment, the lander shared its first images of the Moon on Thursday.

Once on the Moon, the lander Vikram will photograph the Pragyaan rover, which will study the chemical makeup of the Moon's surface and search for water. It has a lifespan of one lunar day, equivalent to 14 days on Earth.

Chandrayaan-3 was launched into space by the LVM3 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14. It entered the lunar orbit on August 5.

Meanwhile, an "emergency" was detected on Saturday during a manoeuvre by Russia's Luna-25 probe prior to its Moon landing, Russian space agency Roscosmos said. "Thrust was released to transfer the probe onto the pre-landing orbit," Roscosmos said in a statement.

"During the operation, an emergency situation occurred on board the automatic station, which did not allow the carrying out of the manoeuvre within the specified conditions," it said.

The lander, Russia's first such mission in almost 50 years, was successfully placed in the Moon's orbit on Wednesday after being launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the country's far east.

Roscosmos did not say if the incident would delay the landing, due to take place on Monday, north of the Boguslawsky crater on the lunar south pole.


Source: NDTV