Lander leaves Chandrayaan-3, gears up for soft landing on moon

ISRO's ambitious moon mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully completed its fifth and final lunar-bound orbit manoeuvrer yesterday, bringing its spacecraft even closer to the surface of the moon

Chandrayaan-3 lander ISRO

Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) latest moon mission went a step further on Thursday after lander ‘Vikram’ successfully separated from propulsion module (spacecraft) of Chandrayaan-3. The lander and rover, Pragyaan, are now expected to land on the moon on August 23.

Once on the moon, the lander Vikram will photograph the Pragyaan rover, which will deploy its instruments to study seismic activity on the lunar surface. India’s ambitious moon mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully completed its fifth and final lunar-bound orbit manoeuvrer yesterday, bringing its spacecraft even closer to the surface of the moon.

Also Read: Chandrayaan3 shares 1st images of moon as it enters lunar gravity

According to ISRO, the latest endeavour would place India on track to become the fourth nation globally to achieve this remarkable milestone, joining the company of the United States, Russia and China.

Giving update on Chandrayaan-3 mission, ISRO tweeted: “Thanks for the ride, mate! 👋’ said the Lander Module (LM)… LM is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module (PM)…LM is set to descend to a slightly lower orbit upon a deboosting planned for tomorrow around 1600 Hrs., IST.

Now, India has 3 🛰️🛰️🛰️ around 🌖…”

Also Read: India pins hope on Chandrayaan-3 success to compete with China

The mission was launched effectively on July 14 via the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. It is poised to touch down on the moon’s exterior come August 23. It represents India’s third lunar expedition and its second endeavor to achieve a delicate landing on the Moon’s terrain.

Major objectives of Chandrayaan-3

The Chandrayaan-3 is working on three major objectives, ‘to demonstrate safe and soft landing on lunar surface; to demonstrate rover roving on the moon and; and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments.

Also Read: ISRO’s lunar mission: Chandrayaan-3 lifts off, landing on Aug 23-24

Great moment, says Chandrayaan-I project director

Chandrayaan-I project director M Annadurai said: “It is a great moment and this will imply how the lander is performing and the lander will be verified and tested and brought closer and closer to the moon.. then it will be given the required commands such that it takes over on the cue on August 23 to go all the way to the targeted place and have a safe and secure landing”.

The propulsion module will continue its journey in the current orbit for months/years, said ISRO.

Also Read: ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 to lift off on lunar mission on July 13

“The SHAPE (Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth) payload onboard it (Propulsion Module) would perform spectroscopic study of the Earth’s atmosphere and measure the variations in polarization from the clouds on Earth – to accumulate signatures of Exoplanets that would qualify for our habitability!” ISRO said, adding that this payload is shaped by its U R Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru

Most critical part of the landing on moon

ISRO Chairman S Somanath had recently said the most critical part of the landing is the process of bringing the velocity of the lander from 30 km height to the final landing, and that the ability to transfer the spacecraft from horizontal to vertical direction is the “trick we have to play” here.

Also Read: ISRO places Indian navigation satellite in geo stationary orbit

Meaning of the name ‘Vikram’ and ‘Pragyan’

Developed by ISRO, Chandrayaan-3 includes a lander module named Vikram, which means “valour” in Sanskrit, and a rover named Pragyan, Sanskrit for “wisdom”.

The landing phase of the spacecraft will commence next

After separating from the propulsion module, the landing phase of the spacecraft will commence, where the space agency will perform a series of complex braking manoeuvres to facilitate a soft landing.

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