ISRO Prepares to Apply Brakes on Chandrayaan-3 Mission


Chandrayaan-3: After being cut loose from the Propulsion Module earlier today, Chandrayaan-3‘s Vikram lander is scheduled to perform a vital deboosting manoeuvre on August 18. An important step in the mission has been reached, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), with the successful separation of the landing module, which includes the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, from the propulsion module. Deboosting is the process of reducing thrust to slow down a spacecraft, usually to obtain a stable orbit.

Milestones Leading to the Deboosting Manoeuvre

Since Chandrayaan-3 was launched on July 14, 2023, a number of successful manoeuvres have preceded the deboosting operation. Between July 15 and July 25, the spacecraft carried out five Earth-bound manoeuvres. After that, on August 1, ISRO performed the trans-lunar injection, sending the spacecraft on its way to the Moon, where it eventually touched down on August 5. The August 23 scheduled safe touchdown of the Vikram lander on the surface of the Moon depends on the deboosting manoeuvre. Following the deboosting manoeuvre, a series of procedures will be performed to place Vikram in an orbit where the Perilune (closest point to the Moon) and Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) are 30 km and 100 km, respectively. This will prepare the ground for the most important portion of the landing, which is slowing the lander down from a height of 30 km to the actual touchdown.

Engineering Resilience and Scientific Progress

All of the lander’s sensors and even two of its engines going bad is something the lander was built to manage. Despite these potential difficulties, the ISRO team’s careful planning and the lander’s sturdy design should allow for a gentle landing. Under the Chandrayaan programme of ISRO, the Chandrayaan-3 mission is India’s third effort at lunar exploration. It intends to advance the scientific discoveries made by earlier missions, such as the discovery of lunar surface water ice. The accomplishment of this mission will strengthen India’s status in the international community of space exploration.

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