On August 23, Chandrayaan-3, a much-anticipated space mission from India, will touch down on the Moon. The Indian Space Agency has released a photo of the lander (Vikram) securing its landing area ahead of Wednesday’s moon mission. “These are the Lander Hazard Detection and Avoidance Camera (LHDAC) photos of the Lunar far side region. During the descent, this camera helps find a secure landing spot free of stones and deep pits,” the ISRO posted on X, previously known as Twitter. The final stage of deboosting was completed on Sunday Morning, and the Spacecraft is scheduled to land on August 23 at 6:04 pm (IST).
Since its launch, the journey of Chandrayaan-3 has been extraordinary. Looking at the Mission’s trajectory, the Lunar craft underwent tests on July 7 to assure flawless operation. The LVM3M4 spacecraft was ultimately launched into orbit on July 14, 2023, from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota’s second launch pad, following a 24-hour launch rehearsal on July 11. The Mission completed its initial orbit-raising maneuver the day after launch, reaching a height of 41762 km x 173 km. On July 17, Chandrayaan-3 underwent its second orbit-raising maneuver, which raised its orbit to one that measured 41603 km x 226 km. The fourth and fifth orbit-raising maneuvers were successfully achieved between the 22nd and 25th of July respectively.
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On 1st August, the Spacecraft finally entered the Lunar Orbit at a height of 288 km x 369328 km. The Spacecraft reached the Lunar orbit on August 5 at a distance of 164 km by 18074 km. On August 6, the spacecraft’s orbit around the Moon decreased to 170 km x 4,313 km. On August 9, a second maneuver was carried out to reduce the Spacecraft to an Orbit of 174 km by 1437 km. On August 14, the mission reached the 151 x 179-kilometer orbit circularization phase. August 16: The spacecraft’s orbit after the discharge was 153 km by 163 km. On August 17, the landing module, which included the Pragyan rover and the Vikram lander, was freed from its propulsion system.
On August 18, the Spacecraft successfully carried out a ‘deboosting’ operation that shortened its orbit to 113 km x 157 km. Deboosting is the process of reducing speed to achieve an orbit where the Perilune (the point closest to the Moon) and Apolune (the furthest point) are 30 km and 100 km, respectively. Chandrayaan-3’s final deboost operation, which reduced the LM orbit to 25 km by 134 km, was finished on August 20. India would desperately want the lander to successfully land on 23rd August as this may make the Country the first to land on the South Pole of the moon as Russia’s Luna-25 crashed on the surface of the Moon. This achievement may also boost ISRO’s confidence.