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Chandrayaan-3: ISRO shares mesmerizing pre-landing images weeks ahead of mission's finale

Chandrayaan-3's impending achievement of landing on the moon's surface will solidify India's position as the fourth nation, following the United States, China, and Russia, to successfully conduct a spacecraft landing on the lunar expanse.

Chandrayaan-3: ISRO shares mesmerizing pre-landing images weeks ahead of mission's finale AJR
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First Published Aug 10, 2023, 3:13 PM IST

Chandrayaan-3, India's notable third lunar mission, has unveiled a set of recent moon images, now shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Among these captivating visuals is a composite presentation, featuring Earth as captured by Chandrayaan-3's Lander Image camera, juxtaposed with an image of the moon merely a day following the spacecraft's ingress into the lunar orbit.

Notably, Chandrayaan-3 effectively assumed its lunar orbit position on Saturday, August 5. This mission was inaugurated from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, stationed in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on July 14.

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The forthcoming milestone for Chandrayaan-3 involves its anticipated landing on the moon, a significant event slated for August 23.

Within these novel images, ISRO has meticulously identified specific craters, including Eddington, Aristarchus, and Pythagoras, in conjunction with Oceanus Procellarum, known as the Ocean of Storms—a substantial, shadowy expanse etched on the lunar terrain. This oceanic feature, the most expansive among the lunar "seas," extends over 2,500 km along the moon's north-south axis, encompassing an impressive expanse of approximately 4,000,000 square kilometers.

In preparation for its moon landing, Chandrayaan-3 is poised to execute a sequence of de-orbiting maneuvers, strategically designed to draw it closer to the lunar terrain, ultimately enabling the lander Vikram to achieve a successful landing.

The upcoming procedural timeline outlined by ISRO Chief S Somanath includes a pivotal stage wherein the lander propulsion module separation is performed following the lander's "deboost" phase, a deceleration technique. Subsequently, the mission will culminate in a lunar touchdown scheduled for August 23, as elucidated by Mr. Somanath.

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The ISRO Chief emphasized the mission's robust design, highlighting that even in scenarios of sensor failure or technical glitches, the Vikram lander is engineered to carry out its landing objective. He stressed, "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," he stated during an interaction with a news agency.

Chandrayaan-3's impending achievement of landing on the moon's surface will solidify India's position as the fourth nation, following the United States, China, and Russia, to successfully conduct a spacecraft landing on the lunar expanse. This milestone underscores the nation's adeptness in orchestrating safe and gentle landings on the moon's challenging topography.

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