ISRO Assures of “Smooth Sailing” as Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram Lander Nears Moon

22 August, 2023 | Vishakha Ahuja

Chandrayaan-3 National

ISRO reports Chandrayaan-3's lunar touchdown is on track, with routine system verifications underway. The mission is expected to land on August 23, 2023.

ISRO’s recent report on Chandrayaan-3’s gentle lunar touchdown confirms that the mission remains on track, with routine system verifications in progress.
“Smooth sailing is continuing, The Mission Operations Complex (at ISRO) is buzzed with energy and excitement!” ISRO posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Following the unsuccessful Luna-25 mission by Russia, attention shifts to India, with Chandrayaan-3 poised to achieve a lunar landing on August 23, 2023 (Wednesday), approximately at 18:04 IST.
The live broadcast of the landing procedures at MOX is scheduled to commence at 17:20 IST on Wednesday.

Starting at 17:27 IST on August 23, 2023, live coverage of the landing procedure will be available on the ISRO website, its YouTube channel, Facebook, and the public television network DD National TV.
In addition to the mission’s progress report, ISRO unveiled moon images taken by the Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC) at an altitude of approximately 70 km.

ISRO unveiled a set of pictures on Monday, showcasing the far side of the moon, taken by the Lander Hazard Detection and Avoidance Camera (LHDAC). This camera aids in identifying a secure landing spot devoid of obstacles like boulders or deep crevices during the descent. Additionally, a noteworthy achievement occurred as the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, still circling the moon, established a mutual communication link with the lander module of Chandrayaan-3 on the same day.

Significantly, the spacecraft’s ‘Vikram’ lander module effectively detached from the propulsion module last Thursday. It then underwent critical deboosting maneuvers, descending to a slightly lower orbit. The Chandrayaan-3 mission’s lander bears Vikram Sarabhai’s (1919–1971) name. Vikram Sarabhai is well known for being the brains behind India’s space program.

A GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle was used to place the spacecraft into lunar orbit on August 5. Following that, a sequence of orbital maneuvers was executed to gradually bring the spacecraft closer to the moon’s surface.

A span of one month and eight days has passed since the initiation of the Chandrayaan-3 mission by the Indian Space Research Organization on July 14. The spacecraft was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar endeavor, aims to achieve a secure and gentle lunar touchdown, enable rover mobility on the lunar terrain, and conduct on-site scientific investigations.
Following the United States, Russia, and China, India will become the fourth nation globally to accomplish this accomplishment. Notably, India will be the sole country to achieve a lunar landing at the southern pole.

The developmental stage of Chandrayaan-3 began in January 2020, with a launch scheduled for sometime in 2021. However, the mission’s advancement encountered an unexpected setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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