Indian Spacecraft Completes Moon-Bound Manoeuver: What Lies Ahead for Chandrayaan-3
Chandrayaan-3, the Indian spacecraft, has completed its moon-bound maneuver and is now preparing for its next step in space. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the mission has achieved a new milestone by successfully completing its fifth and final orbit reduction maneuver. This maneuver has put Chandrayaan-3 into an orbit of 153 km x 163 km as intended. With this, the lunar bound maneuvers are completed.
Chandrayaan-3 was launched from Sriharikota’s Satish Dhawan Space Center on July 14 and is now just 163 km away from the Moon’s surface. Since entering the orbit on August 5, the spacecraft has been gradually reducing its orbit and positioning itself for a touchdown over the lunar polar region through a series of maneuvers.
The next step in the lunar journey is the separation of the lander from the propulsion module, which is expected to happen on August 17. Once separated, the lander and propulsion module will embark on their separate paths. The lander will move forward and prepare for touchdown on the Moon’s surface.
The soft landing is scheduled to happen in the South Polar region on August 23 at 5.47 PM. If successful, the lander Vikram, carrying the rover Pragyan, will touch down on the Moon’s surface. The rover will then emerge from Vikram and begin scanning and inspecting the Moon’s surface. It is expected to conduct experiments there for one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 Earth days.
If the Chandrayaan-3 mission is successful in its soft landing and subsequent lunar exploration, it will place India in a select league of nations that have achieved similar milestones, including the US, Russia, and China.