On Monday, India’s Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to make a significant stop on its way to the Moon.
According to Isro, the spacecraft will lower its orbit around the Moon between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm on August 14, bringing it closer to 1,437 km from where it is currently.
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Chandrayaan-3, which is currently stationed at Sriharikota’s Satish Dhawan Space Center, was launched on July 14, 2023, and has been steadily advancing towards a successful soft landing on the Moon. This move will bring it one step closer to its goal, with an initial launch planned for 2022.
The soft landing process is a convoluted and well-thought-out procedure that involves three stages: Earth orbit maneuvers, Trans-lunar injection, and Lunar orbit moves. After all these stages are finished, the lander exits the propulsion module and enters descending orbit nearer to the moon, initiating the soft landing process.
The mission of Chandrayaan-3 is not only a demonstration of India’s increasing technical proficiency in space exploration but also aims to make significant scientific discoveries.
The spacecraft is scheduled to land near the Moon’s underdeveloped south-polar region, where new discoveries are expected to be made. Detailed analysis of Chandrayaan-2 data has been conducted to ensure a successful landing.
The landing location will be determined in the near future, after which the propulsion system will disconnect from the lander while still in orbit.
After that, the lander will come back out of orbit and attempt a gentle landing. If successful, India will join the US, former Soviet Union, and China in becoming the fourth country to do so on the Moon.
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission is a significant milestone for space exploration, as it seeks to contribute to the understanding of the Moon and its capabilities.
India’s approach towards a first-ever lunar landing is becoming increasingly distant with each passing milestone.
Sibu Kumar Tripathi’s edited article was published on August 14, 2023.