Chandrayaan-3 completes final deboosting

Chandrayaan-3 successfully underwent its second round of deboosting where the orbit of the lunar satellite’s Lander Module (LM) was reduced, as reported by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

While this activity brings the satellite closer to the moon, it is set to undergo internal checks, the space agency said.

The key components of LM, Vikram (the lander) and Pragyaan (the Rover), is expected to touch down on the moon’s surface on August 23 evening.

The second and final deboosting (slowing down) operation has successfully reduced the LM orbit to 25 km x 134 km.

Further, the module would undergo internal checks and await the sun-rise at the designated landing site.

And, the powered descent is expected to commence on August 23, 2023.

Previously, the LM of Chandrayaan-3 successfully separated from the Propulsion Module on August 17, almost 35 days after the mission was launched on July 14. Meanwhile, the first round of deboosting took place on August 18.

Noteworthy, deboost is the process of slowing down, more like operations to place it in an orbit, where the Perilune (the orbit’s closest point to the Moon) is 30 kilometres and Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) is 100 km, from where the soft landing on the south polar region of the Moon will be attempted.

At around 30 km altitude, the lander enters the powered braking phase, and begins to use its thrusters to reach the surface of the moon.

Further, it is to be noted that at an altitude of about 100 m altitude, the lander would scan the surface to check whether there are any obstacles and then start descending to make a soft landing.

Worth mentioning, post its launch on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 entered into the lunar orbit on August 5, following which orbit reduction manoeuvres were carried out on the satellite on August 6, 9, 14 and 16, ahead of the separation of both its modules on August 17, in the runup to the landing on August 23.

Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.

The mission objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, to demonstrate rover roving on the Moon, and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments.