India’s Moon Mission Awaits Climax on August 23

chandrayaan 3
Chandrayaan is set to make a historic soft landing on the moon’s South Pole on August 23. India’s lunar mission achieved a major milestone yesterday in its journey towards the climax as the Lander Module, carrying the rover Pragyan and the lander Vikram, was separated from the Propulsion Module.
The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) informed that the lander, following the separation, is expected to undergo a successful “deboost” to plant itself in the orbit that is 30 km away from Perilune (the nearest point to the moon) and 100 km away from Apolune (the farthest point from the moon). The soft landing is expected to take place at this point. After separation, the Propulsion Module will continue to travel in the current orbital trajectory for months or even years.

The soft landing on the moon’s south pole is scheduled at 5.47 pm on August 23. It will catapult India to a position where the country will share a glorious spot with the USA, the Soviet Union (now Russia) and China in achieving the feat.

Meanwhile, Russia is also busy with its moon mission, Luna-25, which is heading towards the moon for a soft landing around August 21-23, to explore the lunar south pole which is still considered a virgin area.  

chandrayaan 3


What will happen to the propulsion module after separating from the lander?

Having successfully planted the lander module in the vicinity of the moon, the propulsion module will launch a search operation for extra-terrestrial life on other planets that don’t belong to our solar system. ISRO has purposefully employed the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload for such exploration.

ISRO has stated that the propulsion module will continue to stay in its present orbit for an extended time span (it could be months or years).

The SHAPE payload’s primary mission is designed to perform a broad spectroscopic analysis of Earth’s atmosphere. The task involves measuring polarisation fluctuations accurately within Earth’s cloud cover. The data collected through the payload is invaluable as it will facilitate detailed research into if exo-planets have the facilities to accommodate lives. Furthermore, the data could be employed for an in-depth understanding of Earth’s atmospheric composition.

How did the lander get separated from the propulsion model?

The ISRO announced the successful detachment of the Chandrayaan-3’s lander from the propulsion module. The seamless transition is the foundation brick of the next crucial phase of the moon mission. ISRO successfully performed the maneuver and it brought India closer to its aim of making a triumphant touchdown on the lunar surface.  

Why is the moon’s south pole so important for India’s moon mission?

The moon’s south pole has distinct geology. No country has been able to land on the South Pole before. For that to happen, a moon mission must be successful in making a soft touchdown, which involves massive challenges. Chandrayaan-3, if successful in its mission, will create history and write India’s name in gold in the field of space research and exploration.

What will Vikram do?

After separation, Vikram will now start the process of slowing down, called deboosting, to perform a soft landing.

We are looking forward to this historic moment.

What do you think?

Written by Rupa

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