The Indian probe Chandrayaan-3 is preparing for a historic event – landing on the Moon. The maneuver will take place today, August 23. This event can be watched live – the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will broadcast the process on YouTube.
The Chandrayaan-3 flight plan provides for landing on the surface of the Moon on Wednesday, August 23 at 03:15 p.m. GMT+3. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 02:50 p.m., just a few minutes before landing.
This moment defines an important stage in Indian space history. Because, if successful, India will join the elite club of countries that have made a successful soft landing on the Moon, where the Soviet Union, the United States and China are already present.
Complexity of the last stage of the Chandrayaan-3 mission
So far, the Chandrayaan-3 mission has passed without significant obstacles. The launch of the spacecraft took place normally on July 14, and on August 5 it went into lunar orbit. On August 17, the Vikram lander was successfully separated from the orbital module, preparing the way for landing.
The mission of the spacecraft involves landing near the south pole of the Moon — a region that is considered rich in water ice. This place has never been explored before, so if successful, Chandrayaan-3 will be one of the first space missions to attempt it.
Recently, another mission, Luna–25, crashed while trying to land on the Moon, which underlines the complexity of such operations. Although, in the case of the Russian mission, technical backwardness has also been added.
If Vikram’s landing is successful, a lunar rover called Pragian will be deployed on the Moon. Both vehicles will conduct research during one lunar day using a variety of scientific instruments.
This is the second attempt to land on the Moon for India. The first one, which took place in 2019, ended in failure when Chandrayaan-3 experienced problems during descent. However, this mission also had its positive aspects, as it sent an orbiter to the Moon, which is still in an active state and communicates with Vikram, increasing the chances of the mission’s success.
Earlier, we reported on how Intuitive Machines completed the assembly of its first lunar vehicle.
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