Chandrayaan 3: Expert shares ‘biggest challenge’ during landing of spacecraft - Hindustan Times
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Chandrayaan 3: Expert shares ‘biggest challenge’ during landing of spacecraft

ANI |
Aug 21, 2023 06:44 AM IST

Speaking on the failure of Russia's moon mission, P K Ghosh said that this shows that one should not take anything for granted in space exploration.

Space strategist P K Ghosh said on Sunday that one of the "biggest" challenges in the landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the lunar surface is to get the spacecraft from a horizontal to a vertical position.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announces the landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon on August 23 2023, on Sunday.(ISRO twitter)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announces the landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon on August 23 2023, on Sunday.(ISRO twitter)

"One of the biggest things is that it has got to get the spacecraft from a horizontal position to a vertical position. That is difficult. All these aspects have to be looked into," P K Ghosh told ANI.

Alsoo Read| Chandrayaan 3 landing attempt on Aug 23 at 6:04pm; where to watch live?

Chandrayaan 3 underwent the second and final deboosting operation in the early hours of Sunday and is scheduled to land on the moon on Wednesday around 18:04 IST, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on Sunday. (Chandrayaan-3 LIVE updates)

Explaining the process of deboosting, P K Ghosh said, "Deboosting or retro firing is a process to enable the spacecraft to reduce its speed. You must realise that it is travelling at a tremendous speed more than 6000 kilometres per hour and then it has got to reduce it to near zero, nearly 1 meter/second….."

Speaking in detail about the process, the space strategist said, "This is a process in which you are trying to get the spacecraft into a circular orbit and now it is almost circular. The perigee is just about 25 kilometres. This is the second of the deboosting, orbit-adjusting manoeuvres. Finally, on the 23rd you will see that it will start coming down."

Also Read| 'Frugal engineering not enough': Ex-ISRO chief pitches for bigger rockets

India's Chandrayaan-3 mission marked giant leap in its lunar quest as the 'Vikram' lander module of the spacecraft successfully separated from the propulsion module on Thursday, and subsequently underwent crucial deboosting manoeuvres and descended to a slightly lower orbit.

Speaking on the failure of Russia's moon mission, P K Ghosh said that this shows that one should not take anything for granted in space exploration.

"It just goes on to show that you can never ever take anything for granted in space exploration. Any of the smallest things, if it goes wrong, then it can lead to a disaster. I feel sorry for them," he said.

Speaking about the delay in Luna 25 mission, Ghosh said, "The Luna 25 got delayed due to the Ukraine war. Then the European Space Agency pulled out...Finally, after about 47 years they have taken off Luna 25."

Speaking on the Russian lunar mission, he said, "Earlier they had said that they would land on 23rd August. Then I think they speeded it up and then it was 21st August. But something went wrong on Saturday in one of the orbiting manoeuvres."

"Russia or Soviet Union are pioneers in space exploration. This is most unfortunate," he added.

Russia's moon mission failed after its Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and smashed into the moon, Reuters reported on Sunday.

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