Chandrayaan-3 nears Moon touchdown, Final lunar-bound manoeuvre completed, Lander to Separate Tomorrow

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Bengaluru(India), 16/08/23: The spacecraft for India’s ambitious third Moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, completed the final lunar-bound manoeuvre about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stated on X (previously Twitter).

The space agency said, “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 manoeuvres are completed.”

It said, “It’s time for preparations as the Propulsion Module and the Lander Module gear up for their separate journeys.”

ISRO will undertake another lander separation manoeuvre after Wednesday’s manoeuvre. The Lander Module will be separated from the Propulsion Module on August 17, 2023, according to the agency.

Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-2 that will demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe lunar landing and wandering. It is made up of an indigenous propulsion module, a lander module, and a rover, and its goal is to develop and demonstrate new technologies needed for interplanetary missions.

The lander and rover configuration will be carried by the propulsion module until they reach 100 km lunar orbit. The Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload aboard the propulsion module is used to analyse spectral and polarimetric observations of Earth from lunar orbit.

Chandrayaan-3’s mission objectives are to show safe and soft landings on the lunar surface, rover wandering on the Moon, and in-situ scientific research.

ISRO Chairman S Somnath stated last week that the process of bringing the lander’s velocity from 30 km height to the final landing is the most critical part of the landing, and that the ability to transfer the spacecraft from horizontal to vertical direction is the “trick we have to play”.

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