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Business News/ Science / News/  What next if ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 misses soft landing on moon's south pole today?
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What next if ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 misses soft landing on moon's south pole today?

Chandrayaan-3 set to make historic soft landing on Moon's south pole today at around 18:04 IST, with the powered descent of Vikram lander expected at 1745 IST.Chandrayaan-3: What next if lander Vikram misses soft landing today?

Chennai: Students of Everwin School with their faces painted with moon celebrate the pre-soft landing of Chandrayaan- 3, in Chennai, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (PTI Photo)Premium
Chennai: Students of Everwin School with their faces painted with moon celebrate the pre-soft landing of Chandrayaan- 3, in Chennai, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Chandrayaan-3: India is set to script history today with Chandrayaan 3 will be the first to soft-land on Moon's south polar region. ISRO launched Chandrayaan-3 on 14 July and since then, the space agency is sharing information about the significant manoeuvres that the spacecraft underwent in outer space. The scheduled timing for the soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon’s south pole on August 23, 2023 (Wednesday), is around 18:04 IST, with the powered descent of Vikram lander expected at 1745 IST.

Lander Vikram's set to make soft landing on Moon today

Ever since its launch on 14 July, ISRO has been maintaining that the health of the spacecraft remains “normal". The Moon's south pole region is also being explored because there could be a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it.

Also read: Chandrayaan 3: Know about last 20 minutes of terror before Vikram lander's soft-landing on Moon

Earlier on 9 August, ISRO chairman S Somanath had said the lander of India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, Vikram, will be able to make a soft-landing on the Moon's surface even if all the sensors and two of its engines do not work. The entire design of the lander has been made in a manner that makes sure that it would be able to handle failures, Somanath had said as quoted by PTI. “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," Somanath said. He also added, “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."

Also Read: Chandrayaan 3: What is India's mission to moon? Why is it important?

What next, if the soft landing is missed today

If the soft landing is missed today, then Chandryaan 3 will make the second attempt of soft landing on the moon's south pole on Thursday i.e. on 24 August. The space agency also indicated that touchdown could be postponed to August 27 in case the health parameters of the lander module are found to be “abnormal". Experts also remain confident that the lander will find suitable conditions before it runs out of fuel.

Catch all the LIVE Updates on Chandrayaan- 3 here

Moreover, if Chandrayaan 3 misses the soft landing, then it will hover in its current orbit of 25km X 134km to attempt its next soft landing. “If it doesn’t land tomorrow owing to whatever factor, whether the health of the lander or a break in communication, we will attempt the landing again within 24-50 hours. Meanwhile, alternate landing sites will also be considered," S Somanath said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

Another option if the soft landing is missed today, the window for the next soft landing will remain open for 14 days as the rover has a mission life of one lunar day, or 14 Earth days. OP Gupta - a Senior Engineer with the Nehru Planetarium said that in case there comes any difficulty and the conditions are unsuitable, ISRO has kept enough fuel to sustain it for four more days. It has been made technically strong, the high resolution camera installed in Vikram lander will monitor the surface for safe landing from a height of 25km initially.

Earlier in 2019, ISRO had attempted a similar mission-Chandrayaan-2 but at that time due to some technical glitches, the lander of the spacecraft got crashed just minutes before landing. Without repeating the same errors, ISRO scientists have redesigned the technology of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, focused on what can fail and how to protect it and ensure a successful landing.

Meanwhile, the live telecast of the landing operations at Mission Operation Complex (MOX) will begin at 1720 IST on Wednesday. Live actions of landing will be available on the ISRO website, its YouTube channel, Facebook, and public broadcaster DD National TV from 17:27 IST on Aug 23, 2023.

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Published: 23 Aug 2023, 10:37 AM IST
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