Chandrayaan 3 to Touch Down on the Moon on August 23
There are several events that stand out as significant turning points in the history of space travel. The world’s fascination with Chandrayaan 3, India’s moon mission, is a prime example. We are counting down to the historic landing slated on August 23, and the anticipation is intense.
Chandrayaan 3 Timeline
Here’s a comprehensive timeline of the developments in the Chandrayaan-3 mission:
- July 6: ISRO announced that a second launch pad at Sriharikota will be used to launch Chandrayaan-3 on July 14.
- July 7: Having passed the vehicle’s electrical tests.
- July 11: Finalisation of a thorough 24-hour “Launch Rehearsal” that replicated the entire launch procedure.
- July 14: Chandrayaan-3 was successfully launched into its intended orbit by the LVM3 M4 vehicle.
- July 15: Achievement of the first orbit-raising manoeuvre, reaching a 41762 km x 173 km orbit.
- July 17: Second orbit-raising manoeuvre positions Chandrayaan-3 at a 41603 km x 226 km orbit.
- July 22: Successful completion of the fourth orbit-raising manoeuvre, placing the spacecraft in a 71351 km x 233 km orbit.
- July 25: Successful execution of another orbit-raising manoeuvre.
- August 1: Insertion of Chandrayaan-3 into translunar orbit (288 km x 369328 km).
- August 5: Insertion into lunar orbit successfully (164 x 18074 km).
- August 6: Lowering of lunar orbit to 170 km x 4,313 km.
- August 9: Adjustments to the spacecraft’s path for a lunar orbit of 174 km x 1437 km.
- August 14: Controlled movement closer to the moon’s surface, establishing an orbit of 150 km x 177 km.
- August 16: The spacecraft is in a near-circular Lunar orbit of 163 km x 153 km after the fifth and final Moon-bound manoeuvre.
- August 17: Separation of the landing module, including the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, from its propulsion system.
- August 18: Successful completion of a ‘deboosting’ operation, reducing orbit to 113 km x 157 km.
- August 20: Planned final orbit adjustment, with the spacecraft’s orbit to be around 100 km x 30 km, the farthest and nearest points from the moon respectively.
- August 23: If all goes well, the planned lunar touchdown attempt is set for 5:47 pm, allowing for research during 14 Earth days. A change in landing date might occur if required to avoid the moon’s night.
The mission’s success hinges on landing at dawn, enabling 14 days of research before the lunar night brings temperatures beyond the rover’s tolerance. Conversely, ISRO might opt to change the landing date to the next available slot in September if needed.
The Chandrayaan Legacy
Let’s pause to consider the legacy of India’s lunar missions before we get into the specifics of Chandrayaan 3’s upcoming historic landing. The 2008 launch of Chandrayaan 1 was a great success. It altered our knowledge of Earth’s satellites by revealing water molecules on the moon’s surface. With a gentle landing on the south pole of the moon, Chandrayaan 2, which was launched in 2019, sought to expand on this accomplishment. Vikram, the lander, sadly had a harsh landing, but the orbiter is still sending useful data.
The Anticipation Builds
The use of cutting-edge technology in Chandrayaan 3 is one of its most notable aspects. The mission combines Chandrayaan 2’s lessons to make sure that the difficulties encountered during the first landing attempt are addressed. The likelihood of a successful landing is increased by the employment of cutting-edge propulsion systems, autonomous navigation, and enhanced communication systems.
The Quest for Water
Chandrayaan 3’s major goal is to learn more about if there is water on the moon. Chandrayaan 1’s finding of water molecules on the surface of the moon was a ground-breaking discovery. By checking for the existence of water ice in samples of lunar soil, Chandrayaan 3 hopes to further this. Finding significant water reserves on the moon might have far-reaching effects on future lunar exploration and perhaps the viability of supporting human existence.
Chandrayaan 3 is not just an endeavour by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It represents a collaborative effort with international partners. The sharing of knowledge, resources, and expertise underscores the global significance of this mission. It serves as a reminder that space exploration transcends borders and unites humanity in its quest for knowledge.
The Countdown to August 23
As the days go by and August 23 draws nearer, anticipation for Chandrayaan 3’s historic landing is at an all-time high. The careful preparation, technical advancements, and international cooperation have prepared the ground for a mission that might fundamentally alter how we think about the moon.
The successful landing of Chandrayaan 3 on August 23 will not only be a cause for celebration for all of mankind but also a source of pride for India. It would represent our abilities as a group to advance scientific research and solve cosmic riddles.
One thing is clear as we anxiously anticipate this momentous occasion: Chandrayaan 3’s arrival on August 23, 2023, at approximately 6 PM, will go down in space exploration history as a tribute to human ingenuity and the never-ending quest for knowledge.