Chandrayaan-3 Set to Land on Moon, Establishes Connection With Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter
In a remarkable breakthrough, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which was already stationed around the moon, has successfully established a two-way connection with the lander module of Chandrayaan-3. This exciting development paves the way for the upcoming landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface.
A Momentous Landing Date
Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to touch down on the moon’s surface on August 23, 2023, at approximately 18:04 IST, marking a significant milestone in India’s space exploration journey.
Seamless Communication Achieved
In an endearing gesture, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter extended a warm welcome to the Chandrayaan-3 lander module with the words, “‘Welcome, buddy!'” The two-way communication link between the orbiter and the lander module has been successfully established. This accomplishment provides the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) with enhanced pathways to communicate with the lander. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared this achievement on its social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.
Live Coverage and Anticipation
For those eagerly awaiting this monumental event, live coverage of the landing process will be available on various platforms, including the ISRO website, its YouTube channel, Facebook, and the national broadcaster, DD National TV. The coverage is set to begin at 17:27 IST on August 23, 2023.
Words of Confidence from a Leading Figure
K Sivan, the former director of ISRO and the key figure behind the previous lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, expressed his confidence in the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. He stated, “It’s a very anxious moment…I’m sure that this time it will be a grand success.” Sivan’s optimism stems from ISRO’s well-established system and its capability to execute a soft landing flawlessly. He acknowledged that while the process is complex, corrective measures have been taken based on data from the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
Indigenous Innovation Prevails
Addressing concerns about potential setbacks following Russia’s Luna-25 mission failure, Sivan emphasized the indigenous nature of the additional systems implemented for Chandrayaan-3. He assured, “Everything is indigenous,” highlighting ISRO’s dedication to self-reliance and innovation.
Technical Insights and Preparations
Recent images captured by the Lander Hazard Detection and Avoidance Camera (LHDAC) were released by ISRO. This camera plays a vital role in identifying a safe landing area, free from obstacles such as boulders or deep trenches, during the descent process. Notably, the ‘Vikram’ lander module successfully separated from the propulsion module and underwent essential deboosting maneuvers, descending to a slightly lower orbit.
Honoring a Pioneer
The lander for the Chandrayaan-3 mission is named after Vikram Sarabhai, a visionary often referred to as the father of the Indian space program. This tribute symbolizes the continuation of his legacy in India’s space endeavors.
The Path to the Moon
The launch of the spacecraft into lunar orbit was facilitated by the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle on August 5. Subsequent orbital maneuvers have progressively lowered the spacecraft closer to the moon’s surface.
A Journey Through Challenges
The Chandrayaan-3 mission was initiated on July 14, and the Indian Space Research Organisation has diligently navigated through a month and seven days of the mission’s progression. The spacecraft embarked on its journey from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
Objectives and Aspirations
Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission, is dedicated to achieving three primary objectives: a safe and gentle landing, rover exploration on the lunar terrain, and the execution of in-situ scientific experiments.
Budget and Timeline
The approved budget for Chandrayaan-3 stands at Rs. 250 crores, excluding the cost of the launch vehicle. The development phase commenced in January 2020, with the launch initially planned for 2021. However, unforeseen delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in adjustments to the mission’s timeline.
Expanding Scientific Knowledge
The achievements of Chandrayaan-2 have significantly expanded our understanding of the moon’s composition and characteristics. Notable accomplishments include creating the first-ever global map of lunar sodium distribution, advancing knowledge of crater size distribution, and conclusively detecting lunar surface water ice using the IIRS instrument.
Beyond Lunar Exploration
The moon serves as a reservoir of Earth’s history, and India’s success in lunar missions contributes to advancing life on our planet. Additionally, successful lunar missions open doors to exploring the broader solar system and venturing into the realms beyond.
In conclusion, the upcoming landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon’s surface marks a momentous achievement for India’s space program. With careful planning, indigenous innovation, and a commitment to scientific discovery, ISRO continues to inspire and pave the way for future exploration beyond our world.