Chandrayaan-3, India's ambitious lunar mission, is edging closer to the Moon's surface. The spacecraft successfully underwent its third Moon-bound maneuver on August 9. It is nearly 1,400km away from the lunar surface. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has scheduled an operation for tomorrow to further decrease the distance between Chandrayaan-3 and the Moon.

The Mission Will Aim To Land On August 23

The upcoming manoeuvres for Chandrayaan-3 involve entering a 100km circular orbit on August 16. After that, on August 17, the landing module—comprising the rover—will separate from the propulsion module. Once detached, ISRO will adjust the lander's orbit to achieve 30km Perilune (closest point to the Moon) and 100km apolune (farthest point from the Moon). Chandrayaan-3 will attempt a landing on August 23.

The Most Crucial Step Is Positioning The Lander For Touchdown

The most critical aspect of the Chandrayaan-3's landing process is decelerating the lander's velocity from a height of 30km to its ultimate landing position, as per ISRO Chairman S Somnath. At 30km, the spacecraft will be horizontal. It must then smoothly transition from a horizontal to a vertical orientation to land smoothly. An issue arose at this transition stage during the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Chandrayaa-3 Carries Several Enhancements Over Chandrayaan-2

To ensure a successful landing, ISRO has incorporated various enhancements based on insights gained from Chandrayaan-2. It has refined the guidance design, integrated new algorithms, and performed extensive simulations. ISRO's primary objectives for soft landing will be to optimize fuel consumption, accurately measure distances, and ensure the flawless functioning of all algorithms. If all goes well, Chandrayaan-3 will mark a crucial milestone for India.