In a landmark achievement for India's space exploration, the Lander Module (LM) of the Chandrayaan-3, the third lunar mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has mae its historic landing on the lunar surface today evening, at approximately 6.04 p.m. IST.
Just days ago, on August 18, a pivotal moment in the mission unfolded as ISRO executed a successful deboosting operation, an intricate manoeuvre that significantly lowered the LM's orbit to a precise 113 km x 157 km.
This strategic action followed the separation of the lander module from the propulsion module, concluding a remarkable 34-day journey towards the Moon.
Swiftly thereafter, on August 20, ISRO enacted the second and final deboost, masterfully fine-tuning the LM's trajectory to an impressive 25 km x 134 km.
The designated primary landing coordinates for the Chandrayaan-3 lander are situated at 69.367621°S latitude and 32.348126°E longitude, marking its intended touchdown point within the lunar South Polar region.
Countdown to Touchdown
With the Lander Module securely housing the eagerly anticipated Rover, all systems were in place for an audacious landing.
The targeted moment was set for August 23, precisely at 6.04 p.m. IST, with the commencement of the powered descent projected to begin around 5.45 p.m.
This complex manoeuvre required the utmost precision and coordination, reflecting ISRO's unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of space exploration.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) affirmed that the mission remains steadfastly on track.
In a spirited announcement on social media, ISRO shared, "The mission is on schedule. Systems are undergoing regular checks. Smooth sailing is continuing. The Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is buzzed with energy & excitement!"
Chandrayaan-3 Mission:— ISRO (@isro) August 22, 2023
The mission is on schedule.
Systems are undergoing regular checks.
Smooth sailing is continuing.
The Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is buzzed with energy & excitement!
The live telecast of the landing operations at MOX/ISTRAC begins at 17:20 Hrs. IST… pic.twitter.com/Ucfg9HAvrY
The enthusiasm resonates not just within the organisation but throughout the nation as India eagerly anticipates this watershed moment.
Global Collaborations in Pursuit of Knowledge
As the world watches, international collaboration has played a crucial role in the Chandrayaan-3 mission. NASA's Canberra DSN antennae, DSS36 and DSS34, are working in tandem to track the progress of Chandrayaan-3.
Adding to the orchestration of global support, the European Space Agency's New Norcia antenna, stationed in Australia, is primed to aid in tracking and telemetry as the lander descends.
The central role, however, remains with ISRO's primary tracking and telemetry antenna, headquartered in Bengaluru.
As the hours tick away and the LM's descent draws near, the world is collectively holding its breath in anticipation of the culmination of ISRO's daring endeavour.
Suggested Reading: Chandrayaan 3 Landing: Who Is The Woman Behind This Mission