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A Historic Moment for India’s Space ProgramThe Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has shared its enthusiasm on social media, revealing that the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is abuzz with energy. The upcoming Moon landing is poised to make India the pioneer in landing a spacecraft on the lunar south pole, an achievement that will redefine its space endeavors.
Smooth Sailing to Lunar GloryCurrent progress indicates a seamless mission, with all systems undergoing regular checks. ISRO’s recent update suggests a smooth journey so far. Chandrayaan-3’s scheduled touchdown time is 1804 hours IST on Wednesday, following a calculated 17-minute descent from its current pre-landing lunar orbit.
A pivotal command for descent will be issued by ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Centre (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru at 1747 hours IST. From an orbit velocity of around 6,000 km/hour, the spacecraft must meticulously decelerate to almost zero for a safe landing, even at speeds of up to 10 km/hour.
The descent will be managed autonomously, employing artificial intelligence and computer logic, while mission control at ISTRAC oversees the process.
Avoiding Past MishapsThe final moments of Chandrayaan-3’s approach to the Moon are filled with a blend of emotions – anxiety, anticipation, and hope. This stage had posed challenges for Chandrayaan-2, which encountered difficulties leading to a crash. Sadly, this trend has been observed in four other missions, including Russia’s Luna-25 recently.
Enhancements: Sensors and SoftwareISRO Chairman S Somanath has highlighted the failure-based approach in Chandrayaan-3’s design. This meticulous planning covers various failure scenarios, incorporating multiple safeguards. Key upgrades encompass reinforced landing legs, software enhancements, increased fuel capacity, and augmented maneuverability to pinpoint precise landing sites.
Sensors are the backbone of Chandrayaan-3’s success. These sensors – including velocimeters, altimeters, and hazard-avoidance cameras – work harmoniously with computer algorithms to ascertain the lander’s position, speed, and orientation. Rigorous testing has validated these sensor systems.
Optimal Timing MattersChandrayaan-3’s lander aims for a daytime lunar landing, a period lasting approximately 14 Earth days. All onboard instruments operate on solar power and are tailored for a lunar day’s duration. Should circumstances prevent landing on August 23 or 24, ISRO may opt for a subsequent attempt on August 27.
Assured Safe LandingSomanath reiterates that Chandrayaan-3’s design guarantees a safe and soft landing even in challenging scenarios. The lander can execute a vertical landing if the propulsion system functions, even if some sensors fail.In closing, Chandrayaan-3 signifies a remarkable accomplishment for India’s space program.
It showcases ISRO’s meticulous planning, technological prowess, and dedication. The nation eagerly awaits this historic moment as Chandrayaan-3 establishes itself as the pioneer in lunar south pole landings, solidifying India’s prominence in space exploration.