The Chandrayaan-3 lander module Vikram has successfully separated from the propulsion module on August 17. With this, the final phase of moon approach has begun. The soft landing has been scheduled for August 23 at 5.45 pm.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working towards achieving a successful soft landing on the Moon’s south pole through its Chandrayaan-3 mission. The spacecraft is now set for its planned moon landing on August 23. This effort positions India on a trajectory to become the fourth country globally to accomplish this notable feat, joining the ranks of the United States, Russia, and China.
Following a prosperous manoeuvre on Wednesday, August 16, ISRO effectively guided the spacecraft into an almost circular orbit, placing it at a lunar orbit size of 153×163 kilometres. Subsequently, the Vikram lander is slated to embark on its independent journey away from the propulsion module.
ISRO tweeted the picture of the same on August 16, with the caption, “Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Today’s successful firing, needed for a short duration, has put Chandrayaan-3 into an orbit of 153 km x 163 km, as intended. With this, the lunar bound maneuvres are completed. It’s time for preparations as the Propulsion Module and the Lander Module gear up for their separate journeys. Separation of the Lander Module from the Propulsion Module is planned for August 17, 2023.”
Chandrayaan-3, the lunar exploration mission directed by ISRO, has effectively established an orbit with a near-circular trajectory around the Moon. The scheduled separation of the Vikram lander from the propulsion module is set to take place today, August 17. Once this separation is successfully executed, the mission will enter its ultimate and pivotal stage- the landing on the moon.
Chandrayaan-3, the third instalment in India’s series of lunar missions, commenced its mission on July 14 this year through the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It effectively entered the lunar orbit on August 5. The spacecraft is diligently adjusting its orbital path in readiness for an attempted soft landing within 40 days from the date of launch.
The main objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are: achieving a safe and soft lunar landing, facilitating the rover’s exploration of the moon’s surface, and conducting scientific investigations on the lunar surface.