Chandrayaan 3 to Land at Lunar Surface
India’s ambitious lunar mission, Chandrayaan 3, is set to attempt a historic soft landing on the Moon, four years after its predecessor met a dramatic end. The mission is expected to place India among the elite club of nations, including the U.S, Russia, and China, that have achieved this feat.
Crucial Landing Attempt
Chandrayaan 3 mission was launched on 14th July 2023 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, with an ambition to make a soft landing on the lunar surface. As per the schedule, at 6.04 pm today (23th August 2023), Chandrayaan 3’s lander module, carrying a rover within its belly, will initiate a powered descent towards the lunar surface. This critical maneuver will be monitored and controlled from the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC), located in Bengaluru.
Challenge of the “15 Minutes of Terror”
Recalling the past challenges faced during Chandrayaan 2’s mission, which were famously referred to as the “15 minutes of terror,” it’s worth noting that Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander narrowly missed a successful landing, eventually losing communication with ground stations at an altitude of 2.1 kilometers before touchdown.
Enhancements and Preparations for Success
ISRO has made significant enhancements and preparations for the Chandrayaan 3 mission to ensure its success. These include strengthening the lander’s legs, reducing the number of engines, increasing the quantity of propellant, and incorporating new sensors. ISRO Chairman S. Somanath highlighted that even in a worst-case scenario where all sensors fail, the lander should still be able to land safely, provided that the propulsion system remains operational.
Robust Systems and Redesigned Guidance
For Chandrayaan 3, ISRO has revamped all systems to be more robust. Key changes have been made in the guidance design and the introduction of new algorithms. These adaptations aim to overcome the challenges faced during Chandrayaan-2 and ensure a successful lunar landing this time.
Rover Deployment and Scientific Goals
Following the lander’s safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, ISRO plans to deploy the rover. The rover’s mission includes conducting in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface as it explores its surroundings. Both the lander and the rover have a mission life of one Lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days. They are equipped with scientific payloads designed to carry out experiments on the lunar terrain.
Chandrayaan 3’s Timeline
The Chandrayaan 3 mission commenced on July 14, with a successful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Various milestones, such as Earth-bound maneuvers, crucial trans-lunar injection (TLI), lunar orbit insertion, and orbit reduction maneuvers, have been completed. Additionally, the separation of the propulsion module and the lander module has occurred as part of the mission’s progression.
ISRO’s Confidence and Excitement
ISRO remains confident and excited about the Chandrayaan 3 mission’s progress. On Tuesday, ISRO provided updates indicating that the mission was proceeding as planned. Engineers and scientists have been conducting routine checks on systems, and the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is buzzing with energy and anticipation as India prepares for this monumental lunar endeavor.
“The mission is on schedule. Systems are undergoing regular checks. Smooth sailing is continuing. The Mission Operations Complex [MOX] is buzzed with energy & excitement!,” ISRO posted on social media platform X on Tuesday.
Chandrayaan 3 landing to be aired live in all state-run UP schools
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced that the moon landing by ‘Chandrayaan-3’s will be telecast live in all state-run schools in Uttar Pradesh. Schools will open specially for one hour in the evening for the viewing.
Where to watch Chandrayaan 3 landing live?
On August 23, at 5.27 pm, the Chandrayaan-3 moon landing process will be telecast live on the ISRO website, YouTube channel and DD National.
To read more about Chandrayaan 3 click here.