India’s Chandrayaan-3 Lander Prepares for Historic Soft Landing on Moon’s South Pole
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated that the lunar satellite programme Chandrayaan-3 has successfully completed its second deboosting procedure, bringing it closer to the moon. The Lander Module (LM) orbit was reduced during the deboosting procedure. Vikram, the lander, and Pragyaan, the rover, are the two main components of the LM. The LM is scheduled to land on the moon’s surface on August 23rd. Prior to this, on August 17th, the LM separated from the Propulsion Module, some 35 days after the mission’s launch on July 14th.
Deboosting is the process of lowering the satellite’s orbit and preparing it for a soft landing on the moon’s south pole. The LM orbit was lowered to 25 km x 134 km after the second and final deboosting operation. Following this process, the module will perform internal tests before arriving at the selected landing place at sunrise. The powered descent is set to begin on August 23rd at around 17:45 Hrs IST.
The lander’s rockets will be used to gently reach the moon’s surface throughout the descent. The lander will survey the surface for impediments at an altitude of roughly 100 metres before descending further for a smooth landing. The goal of Chandrayaan-3 is to demonstrate safe lunar landing and roaming capabilities.
The Chandrayaan-3 satellite was launched on July 14th, entered lunar orbit on August 5th, and performed orbit reduction procedures on August 6th, 9th, 14th, and 16th. Both modules separated on August 17th, setting the stage for the final fall on August 23rd. Chandrayaan-2, the previous mission, established the groundwork for Chandrayaan-3 by demonstrating the safe landing and mobility of a rover on the moon’s surface.