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Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Triumph: Unveiling the Epic Mission and the Hidden Wonders After Touchdown



Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Triumph: Unveiling the Epic Mission and the Hidden Wonders After Touchdown

Crucial Moment for India’s Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Historic Lunar Landing Expected Today

In a landmark steps for India’s space exploration, the Chandrayaan-3 mission is poised to achieve a groundbreaking feat as it approaches the final phase of its lunar journey. Scheduled for landing around 6:04 pm today, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to broadcast the live telecast of this pivotal event starting at 5:20 pm on Wednesday.

What sets this mission apart is the mission’s aim to achieve a ‘soft landing’ on the Moon’s south pole, a feat never before accomplished by any country. The successful execution of a soft landing is critical to showcase the spacecraft’s technical prowess. The targeted landing site is situated near the Moon’s southern pole at a latitude of 70 degrees.

While previous lunar landings have taken place around the Moon’s equator due to its favorable conditions, the south pole presents challenges. The region experiences extreme cold with temperatures plummeting below -230 degrees Celsius, and some areas remain in perpetual darkness. This harsh environment has deterred exploration efforts, making it an uncharted territory of immense scientific potential. The conditions might have preserved ancient materials, offering insights into the early Solar System.

Notably, the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019 also aimed to land in this challenging region but lost communication upon impact due to software and hardware issues. The lessons from that experience have guided the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s design. Unlike the Chandrayaan-2’s attempt, Chandrayaan-3 adopts a ‘failure-based’ approach, anticipating potential pitfalls and addressing them proactively.

To ensure a successful landing, Chandrayaan-3’s modifications include stronger landing legs, enabling it to touch down and stabilize even at a speed of 10.8 km/hour. The landing site’s range has been expanded, allowing the spacecraft to land safely in a larger designated area. Moreover, the lander carries more fuel for last-minute trajectory adjustments and boasts solar panels on all four sides to maintain power generation regardless of its orientation.

Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Triumph: Unveiling the Epic Mission and the Hidden Wonders After Touchdown

The forthcoming critical maneuver involves transitioning from high-speed horizontal motion to a gentle vertical descent in the final 15 minutes of the mission. This intricate process is divided into four phases:

  1. Rough Braking Phase: This involves precisely reducing the lander’s horizontal velocity from over 6,000 km/h to nearly zero at an altitude of 30 km.
  2. Attitude Hold Phase: At around 7.42 km above the lunar surface, the lander will tilt from a horizontal to a vertical position over 10 seconds, covering a distance of 3.48 km.
  3. Fine Braking Phase: Taking around 175 seconds, this phase moves the lander fully into a vertical position. It gradually descends to the landing site, achieving a nominal speed of 0 m/sec at an altitude of 800-1,000 m.
  4. Terminal Descent: The final stage involves the spacecraft’s vertical descent onto the lunar surface.

Should Chandrayaan-3 successfully land, its scientific payloads, including those from NASA, will embark on a mission of discovery. These payloads will investigate lunar quakes, the moon’s thermal properties, changes in surface plasma, and precise measurements of Earth-Moon distance. This mission holds the potential to unlock new insights into the Moon’s mysteries and its role in the broader cosmos.

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