The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that Chandrayaan-3 is poised to accomplish a historic moon landing on August 23, 2023, at approximately 6:04 pm.
This mission is a significant stride in India's lunar aspirations, as it aims for a successful soft landing on the moon's south pole, joining the ranks of the United States, Russia, and China.
As the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft approaches its final destination, the moon's south pole, it stands just three days away from a monumental achievement.
The anticipated successful landing on August 23 will solidify India's status as the fourth country in the world to achieve this milestone.
ISRO ensures that the excitement of Chandrayaan-3's journey is shared with the world. Live coverage will be accessible on various platforms, including the ISRO website, YouTube channel, Facebook, and the national broadcaster DD National TV. The countdown to the landing will commence at 17:27 IST on August 23, 2023.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission recently achieved a pivotal step as the 'Vikram' lander module successfully detached from the propulsion module. Following this, critical deboosting manoeuvres were executed, and the lander transitioned to a slightly lower orbit. The mission is named after Vikram Sarabhai, a visionary often called the father of India's space program.
Chandrayaan-3's journey commenced with its launch on July 14, 2023, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. A GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle carried the spacecraft into lunar orbit on August 5. Since then, precision orbital manoeuvres have progressively positioned the spacecraft closer to its lunar destination.
Chandrayaan-3 is equipped with various electronic and mechanical subsystems to ensure a safe and gentle landing. These encompass navigation sensors, propulsion systems, and guidance and control mechanisms. The mission's core objectives include:
· Achieving a secure and soft landing.
· Deploying a rover for lunar surface exploration.
· Conducting in-situ scientific experiments.
The estimated cost of Chandrayaan-3 stands at Rs 250 crores, excluding the launch vehicle expenditure. The mission aims to rectify the challenges faced by its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2, which still needs to achieve its primary landing objectives in 2019. Chandrayaan-3's successful landing could unlock crucial scientific insights, furthering India's space exploration journey.
Chandrayaan-3's development commenced in January 2020, with the launch initially planned for 2021. However, unforeseen delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated adjustments to the timeline. The mission embodies ISRO's persistent commitment to advancing lunar exploration capabilities and learning from previous missions.
ISRO Chairman S Somanath expressed confidence in Chandrayaan-3's progress, affirming that all systems operate as intended. He highlighted the intricate manoeuvres that will be executed leading up to the August 23 landing.
India's pursuit of a successful lunar landing through Chandrayaan-3 draws closer to fruition. The upcoming mission encapsulates ISRO's dedication to exploration, innovation, and pushing the boundaries of space technology. With its unique challenges, the lunar south pole awaits India's triumphant landing and the insights it promises to unlock.
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