Chandrayaan 3's soft landing on Moon at 6.04pm after crucial vertical turn | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan 3's soft landing on Moon at 6.04pm after crucial horizontal to vertical turn

Aug 23, 2023 06:27 AM IST

Four years after Chandrayaan 2 failed, Chandrayaan 3 with its 100% fail-safe technology will make its soft launch on the lunar surface at 6.04pm on Wednesday.

Chandryaan-3 will land on the moon's surface at 6.04pm today making history the world awaits. India will become the fourth country to be soft-landing on the lunar surface after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union. But India will become the first country to soft-land on the south pole of the moon which is of much interest because of the possibility of finding water. The Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14, a follow-up mission after the Chandrayaan-2 failed. On August 5, Chandrayaan-3 entered the lunar orbit. On August 6,9,14 and 16, orbit reduction manoeuvers were carried out before the separation of both modules -- rover and lander-- on August 17.

Chandrayaan 3 took the photo of Lunar far side area.
Chandrayaan 3 took the photo of Lunar far side area.

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Chandrayaan 3 soft landing: What will happen today?

Soft landing is where the spacecraft touches down in a controlled manner. The speed comes down gradually and the spacecraft will touch the surface at almost 0 speed. Hard landing is acrash landing where the spacecraft gets destroyed as it hits the surface. Chadrayaan 2 failed during the soft landing four years ago, But this time, Isro chief S Somnath assured that even if everything fails, the soft landing will take place.

Our systems are better tested, our craft is sturdier... We are ready: ISRO chief

The descent will start from the height of 30km with a speed of 1.68km per hour, By the time, Chandrayaan 3 reaches Moon's surface, the speed will be reduced to almost 0.

Today's touchdown is the most crucial part. Chandrayaan 3 will turn from horizontal to vertical direction. It is where Chandrayaan 2 encountered a problem.

Chandrayaan 3: What will happen after the successful soft landing?

The rover will descend from the lander's belly on the Moon's surface. The rover will analyse the surface of the Moon.

The lander and rover will stay alive for one lunar day which is equivalent to 14 days on the earth. They will study the surroundings there. It is not yet known what will happen after 14 days. They may come to life for another lunar day, Isro officials have not yet ruled out the possibility.

One lunar day is the time when the sun shines on the Moon. All systems will work fine as long as the sun shines. When the sun sets in the moon, it will be dark and the temperature will go down as low as minus 180 degree celsius minimising the possibility of the spacecraft to be alive. But if it remains alive, it will be another feat fr the Isro.

Chandrayaan 3: What will happen if today's landing is not successful

Isro chairman S Somnath earlier said that there is no chance of a miss this time and even if all engines and the sensors of the Vikram lander stop working, the soft landing will take place. “If everything fails, if all the sensors fail, nothing works, still it (Vikram) will make a landing. That’s how it has been designed — provided that the propulsion system works well. We have also made sure that if two of the engines (in Vikram) don’t work this time also, it will still be able to land,” S Somnath said.

If everything fails, Isro will attempt a second landing on August 24. And another attempt can be made after 14 days which is one lunar day, the next the sun rises in the moon.

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