Chandrayaan 3 Moon landing Live Updates: With 5 hours to go, ISRO shares details of landing procedure

Chandrayaan-3 Moon Landing Live Updates: The nation is now waiting in hopes of witnessing the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) making history by successfully landing the Vikram Lander on the south pole of the Moon, bringing the 40-day space journey to a successful end. Successor to the Chandrayaan-2 mission (2019) where the Lander Module unfortunately crashed due to a malfunction

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What will Vikram Lander do after its landing?

After landing, the propulsion module will continue in its current orbit for months or even years. The Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload aboard the module will carry out a series of experiments, such as a spectroscopic study of the Earth’s atmosphere, measurement of variations in polarization from the clouds on Earth, and collection of Exoplanet signatures that would qualify for our habitability.

What went wrong in the Chandrayaan-2 mission?

The Chandrayaan-2 mission began hitting all the right chords, but the problem arrived in the last phase of the mission when the lander and the rover were supposed to reach the lunar surface. On September 6, 2019, the lander deviated from its trajectory. According to reports, it was said to be a software glitch that increased the thrust on five of the engines on the lander and caused the crash.

Why is a soft landing on Moon such a challenging thing?

The Russian Luna-25 mission met an unfortunate end when the spacecraft crashed on the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-2 also suffered a similar fate. The question is, why is a soft landing on Moon so difficult? 

Moon has a thin atmosphere and low pull of gravity. Both of these factors make it quite difficult to assess propulsion correctly to navigate to the surface. What makes it even more difficult is that the entire process is controlled remotely from the Earth while there is no conceivable way for the operators on Earth to correctly assess the situation. 

ISRO: All set to initiate the Automatic Landing Sequence

ISRO has shared a new update detailing the process for Moon Landing. In a tweet, it said, “All set to initiate the Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS). Awaiting the arrival of Lander Module (LM) at the designated point, around 17:44 Hrs. IST. Upon receiving the ALS command, the LM activates the throttleable engines for powered descent. The mission operations team will keep confirming the sequential execution of commands. The live telecast of operations at MOX begins at 17:20 Hrs. IST”. 

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on planned Moon landing

As per ANI, CM Khattar said, “This is a proud moment for every Indian…Our Chandryaan-3 is going to land on the moon. The entire country is waiting for this great moment with bated breath. The entire world has its eyes on this huge leap in Space by India. This will be not just ours but an achievement of the entire humanity. I pray for the success of this mission and congratulate ISRO and our scientists in advance. I also thank PM Narendra Modi who has encouraged and inspired scientists every moment…”

Ex-ISRO chief Madhavan Nair warns of a crucial maneuver ahead of Moon landing

Ahead of the scheduled attempt at Moon landing, ex-ISRO chief Madhavan Nair has highlighted the crucial and complex maneuver the space agency will have to make in order to ensure a successful touchdown. Speaking to PTI, he said, “It’s a very complex maneuver. We narrowly missed it (in the Chandrayaan-2 mission) in the last two kms. So there are a host of things that have to work in unison: thrusters, sensors, altimeters, computer software, and all those things. Any glitch happening anywhere…we can be in trouble”. 

What is Chandrayaan-3 doing differently this time?

Learning from the mistakes, in a press conference, ISRO chairperson S. Somnath said, “Instead of a success-based design in Chandrayaan-2, we are doing a failure-based design in Chandrayaan-3 —we are looking at what can go wrong and how to deal with it”.

Goals of Chandrayaan-3 mission

Chandrayaan-3 has two main goals: First, to show that it can land safely and gently on the Moon, and second, to use a small rover for about 14 Earth days, which is equal to one lunar day. The rover is light, weighing only 26 kilograms. It will do scientific tests to learn about the Moon’s origin, its rocks, and its composition, and analyze the environment.

Chandrayaan-3 lander established contact with Chandrayaan-2 orbiter

The Vikram Lander has established two-way communication with the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. ISRO tweeted, “Welcome, buddy! Ch-2 orbiter formally welcomed Ch-3 LM. Two-way communication between the two is established. MOX has now more routes to reach the LM”.  

Establishing the communication was important as the orbiter can be used to relay information to the Lander and the rover in case the communication system gets damaged.

PM Modi to watch the the Moon landing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the 15th BRICS summit. However, according to reports, he has cleared his schedule to virtually watch the Moon landing via live streams. 

Chandrayaan-3 Moon Landing Live Stream details

You can start watching the live broadcast at 5:20 pm (IST) on Wednesday. You’ll be able to see the landing action on the ISRO website, their YouTube channel, Facebook, and DD National TV starting at 5:27 pm (IST) on August 23.

Before the landing, you can also check out videos and photos sent by cameras on the LVM3-M4 and pictures taken by the Lander cameras.

Pragyan rover’s journey after landing

The rover will get two weeks (one lunar cycle) to study the atmosphere of the Moon. The Pragyan rover is solar-powered and can only communicate with the Lander. Vikram Lander, on the other hand, can communicate with Earth directly and share all the data. As an emergency backup, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter can also be used for communication.

What happens after the lunar landing

If the Chandrayaan-3 mission is able to successfully land on the Moon, the Vikram Lander will open up on one side, creating a ramp for the Pragyan rover. Pragyan rover, which has the tricolor and ISRO logo on it, will move out of the lander after a period of 4 hours. Moving at a speed of 1 cm per second, it will use its navigation cameras to scan the surface of the Moon. Its main objective is to collect data on the composition structure of the Moon’s atmosphere. On the other hand, Vikram Lander will also be collecting data on near-surface plasma, density, thermal properties, seismicity, and structural composition of the Moon’s crust and mantle.

Chandrayaan-3 components

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has three components — a lander (Vikram), a rover (Pragyan), and a propulsion module. The lander and rover separated from the propulsion module on August 17 and commenced their descent toward the lunar surface. Meanwhile, the propulsion module will stay in orbit for months and years, and carry out its own series of experiments. Recently, the Lander Module (LM) of Chandrayaan-3 made contact with the orbiter or propulsion module of Chandrayaan-2, establishing two-way communication.

Chandrayaan-3 to land today

The Vikram Lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is expected to land on the south pole of the Moon at 6:04 PM IST, August 23. It will have a 17-minute-long descent from its pre-landing orbit that it currently is placed in. The command to begin its descent will be given from ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Centre (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru at 5:47 PM. 

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