17 Aug 2023

Chandrayaan-3 Now A Step Closer To Landing On Moon; Lander Module Separates From Propulsion Module

ISRO on Thursday announced that the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft's Lander Module has successfully separated from the Propulsion module that was propelling it all these days in space.

Soft landing on Lunar south pole scheduled on August 23

The Lander Module comprising the lander (Vikram) and the rover (Pragyan) is now ready to be lowered to an orbit that takes it closer to the Moon's surface. The soft landing on the Lunar south pole is scheduled on August 23.

Lander expected to undergo a deboost

After Thursday's separation, the lander is expected to undergo a "deboost" (the process of slowing down) to place it in an orbit, where the Perilune (the orbit's closest point to the Moon) is 30 kilometres and Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) is 100 km, from where the soft landing on the south polar region of the Moon will be attempted, ISRO sources said.

Meanwhile, the Propulsion Module will continue its journey in the current orbit for months/years, ISRO said.

"Thanks for the ride, mate! said the Lander Module (LM). LM is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module (PM). LM is set to descend to a slightly lower orbit upon a deboosting planned for tomorrow around 1600 Hrs., IST," ISRO said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

ISRO Chairman S Somanath had recently said the most critical part of the landing is the process of bringing the velocity of the lander from 30 km height to the final landing, and that the ability to transfer the spacecraft from horizontal to vertical direction is the "trick we have to play" here.

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