Chandrayaan-3 Approaches Moon: Lander Prepares for Soft Landing on August 23

ISRO will bring Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander into a slightly lower orbit today i.e. August 18 at 4 pm by deboosting. Deboosting means slowing down the spacecraft. This process will also take place on August 20. After this the minimum distance of the lander from the moon will be 30 km. The soft landing will take place on August 23 at 5:47 pm at the shortest distance.

Earlier on August 17, SRO separated the propulsion module of Chandrayaan-3 from the lander and rover at 1:15 pm. After separation, the lander module told the propulsion module – ‘Thanks for the ride mate’. The propulsion module will now remain in lunar orbit for 3-6 months to study the radiation coming from Earth, when the lander-rover will land on the lunar surface on August 23 at 5:47 pm. will descend Here it will conduct other experiments including water discovery for 14 days.

Chandrayaan-3 Will Have to Rotate 90 Degrees for Soft Landing

The process of landing the lander on the lunar surface from a height of 30 km will be very important. While orbiting it has to start at a 90 degree angle towards the moon. At the beginning of the landing process, the speed of Chandrayaan-3 will be about 1.68 km per second. It will be brought down with the help of thrusters and safely landed on the surface.

The Spacecraft Reached Lunar Orbit on August 5

After a journey of 22 days, Chandrayaan reached lunar orbit on August 5 at 7.15 pm. The craft could then be captured in the Moon’s gravity, slowing it down. To reduce the speed, ISRO scientists fired the thrusters for 1835 seconds, i.e. about half an hour, by reversing the face of the craft. The firing started at 7.12 pm.

Chandrayaan Photographed the Moon

When Chandrayaan first entered lunar orbit, its orbit was 164 km x 18,074 km. Its onboard camera also captured images of the moon while entering orbit. ISRO has made a video of it and shared it on its website. Moon craters are clearly visible in these pictures.

I Am Chandrayaan-3… I Feel the Moon’s Gravity

ISRO wrote in X post the message sent by Chandrayaan, ‘I am Chandrayaan-3… I feel the moon’s gravity.’ ISRO also said that Chandrayaan-3 has been successfully placed into lunar orbit. Chandrayaan will have to de-orbit a total of 4 times before landing on August 23. He has reduced the orbit once on Sunday.

The Thrusters Fired When Chandrayaan Was Closest to the Moon in Orbit

ISRO informed that the retro-burning Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at Perilune was ordered from ISTRAC, Bengaluru.

  • A perilune is the point, which a spacecraft is closest to the Moon in its orbit.
  • A retro-burning vehicle’s thrusters fire in the opposite direction.
  • Thrusters are fired in opposite directions to slow down the vehicle.

Chandrayaan-3’s Journey So Far….

The mission can be divided into three parts:

1. Journey From Earth to Its Orbit

  • On July 14, Chandrayaan-3 was launched into an orbit of 170 km x 36,500 km.
  • On July 15, the orbit was first increased to 41,762 km x 173 km.
  • On 17 July the orbit was increased a second time to 41,603 km x 226 km.
  • On 18 July the orbit was increased for the third time to 5,1400 km x 228 km.
  • On 20 July the orbit was increased for the fourth time to 71,351 x 233 km.
  • On 25 July the orbit was increased for the fifth time to 1.27,603 km x 236 km.

2. Journey From Earth’s Orbit to Moon’s Orbit

  • On the night of 31 July and 1 August, Chandrayaan moved from Earth’s orbit towards the Moon.
  • On August 5, Chandrayaan-3 entered the lunar orbit of 164 km x 18074 km.

3. Journey From Lunar Orbit to Landing

  • Chandrayaan’s orbit was first reduced to 170 km x 4313 km on 6 August.
  • Chandrayaan’s orbit was reduced for the second time to 174 km x 1437 km on 9 August.
  • Chandrayaan’s orbit was reduced for the third time to 150 km x 177 km on 14 August.
  • On August 16, Chandrayaan entered a 153 km X 163 km near-spherical orbit.
  • On August 17, Chandrayaan-3’s propulsion module was separated from the Lander-Rover.

Now Answers to 4 Important Questions Related to Chandrayaan Mission…

1. What Will India Benefit From This Mission?

Former ISRO scientist Manish Purohit says that through this mission, India wants to tell the world that it has the capability to do a soft landing on the moon and operate a rover there. This will increase the world’s confidence in India, which will help increase commercial business. India launched Chandrayaan from its heavy lift launch vehicle LVM3-M4. India has already shown this vehicle capability to the world.

Earlier, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company ‘Blue Origin’ had shown interest in using ISRO’s LVM3 rocket. Blue Origin intends to use LVM3 for commercial and tourism purposes. Through LVM3, Blue Origin will carry its crew-capsule to the planned Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space station.

2. Why Was the Mission Sent Only to the South Pole?

The polar regions of the Moon are quite different from the other regions. There are many parts here, where sunlight never reaches and the temperature goes down to -200 degrees Celsius. In such conditions, scientists speculate that water may still be present in the form of ice. India’s 2008 Chandrayaan-1 mission indicated the presence of water on the lunar surface.

The landing site of this mission is similar to that of Chandrayaan-2. Near the south pole of the Moon at 70 degrees latitude. But this time the area has been increased. The landing site in Chandrayaan-2 was 500 m x 500 m. Now, the landing site is 4 km X 2.5 km.

If all goes well, Chandrayaan-3 will become the world’s first spacecraft to soft-land near the Moon’s south pole. All previous spacecraft to land on the Moon have landed in the equatorial region, a few degrees of latitude north or south of the lunar equator.

3. Why 4 Engines Instead of 5 in Lander This Time?

This time the lander has four engines (thrusters) fitted to the four corners, but last time the middle fifth engine has been removed. The final landing will be done with the help of only two engines, so that two engines can work in case of emergency. A fifth engine was added at the last moment to the Chandrayaan 2 mission. The engine has been removed, so that more fuel can be carried.

4. Why Only 14 Days Mission?

Manish Purohit said that there is light on the moon for 14 days at night and 14 days at day. At night here, the temperature drops below -100 degrees Celsius. Chandrayaan’s lander and rover will generate power from their solar panels. So they will generate power for 14 days, but the power generation process will stop at night. If there is no power output the electronics will not be able to withstand the extreme cold and will be damaged.

India Will Become the Fourth Country

if the soft landing succeeds, i.e. the mission succeeds, India will become the fourth country to do so after America, Russia and China. Several spacecraft crashed before both the US and Russia successfully landed on the moon. China is the only country to have succeeded in its first attempt with the Chang’e-3 mission in 2013.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.