ISRO Moon Mission Chandrayaan-3 Gets Closer to Soft-Landing With Deboosting

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Chandrayaan-3 is just days away from making history as it attempts a successful soft landing on the surface of the Moon.

The spacecraft’s module is scheduled to attempt to land on the Moon on August 23.

The Chandrayaan-3 is carrying the Lander Module (LM) which comprises the lander Vikram and rover Pragyan. The LM will descend to a lower orbit today as it gets closer to the Moon’s surface – in a procedure called deboosting. It successfully completed the separation of the LM from the Propulsion Module on August 17.

According to ISRO, the lander module is expected to be placed in orbit at a juncture where the Perilune (the orbit’s closest point to the Moon) is 30 km and Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) is 100 km.

Chandrayaan-3 – a landmark mission

ISRO’s earlier attempt with Chandrayaan-2 mission failed in its lunar phase when its lander crashed into the surface of the Moon following anomalies in the braking system. The crash had occurred when the lander attempted a soft landing on September 7, 2019. Chandrayaan’s maiden mission to the lunar orbit was in 2008.

If successful in its third attempt, this endeavour will place India among a select group of countries to achieve this milestone. Other countries that have accomplished successful landings on the Moon are the United States, Russia, and China.

India and Russia in race to the Moon

The race to the uncharted south pole of the Moon is also hotting up with Russia’s Luna-25 gearing up for its lunar landing next week. The Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3 are in close proximity, and could have a possible landing date overlap as Russia predicts August 21-23 for Luna-25 and ISRO has scheduled August 23-24 for Chandrayaan-3.


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