As ISRO scientists prepare for the long-awaited soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the lunar surface, the space agency may postpone the landing until August 27 if the health parameters of the lander modules are found to be “abnormal” said a senior official.
ISRO originally planned to soft-land the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft at 6:04 pm on August 23.
The lunar mission launched from Sriharikota on July 14 at 2:35 pm (UST).
Nilesh Desai, director of ISRO’s Center for Space Applications, said the scientists’ focus will be on reducing the speed of the spacecraft above the lunar surface.
“The lander will attempt to land on the lunar surface on August 23 from an altitude of 30 kilometers, at a speed of 1.68 kilometers per second. Our focus will be on reducing this speed, as the moon’s gravity will also play a role.” section, ” he told PTI in Ahmedabad.
“If we don’t control this speed, there is a possibility of a forced landing. If any health parameters (of the lander module) are found to be abnormal on August 23, then we will postpone the landing until August 27.” He said.
In response to inquiries, Desai expressed hope that scientists will try to land the lander module on the lunar surface successfully.
“The landing started at 6:04pm CST. Two hours before that, we will upload the command. We will analyze the telemetry signal and consider the condition of the moon. If there is a problem with any health parameters, we will postpone it By August 27, if all goes well, a landing will be attempted (on that day),” he said.
He pointed out that the last 17 minutes of the lander’s descent are “very important.” “When we start the landing, the four-engine thrusters will fire and reduce the speed.” Driven by it, the speed will reach zero. From 800m to 150m, it (the lander module) will descend vertically,” he said.
The data collected using the sensors on the lander module will be very important in choosing the landing site, he said.
“We have sensors that can transmit accurate information about the speed and distance of the lander from the lunar surface,” he said.
He said: “When planning (safe landing on the lunar surface), various circumstances were considered. We hope to land safely on August 23 at the south pole of the moon at latitude 70 degrees.”
Regarding another question, he said: “A lot of upgrades have been made this time. The hardware system has become more powerful. We will succeed (soft landing on the lunar surface).”
If the mission was moved to August 27, he said, “we chose another landing site, 400 kilometers away from the main landing site.” Referring to Russia’s Luna-25 mission, which crash-landed on the moon, Desai said that Moscow has A massive resource, they failed nonetheless.
“They tried to go to the south pole of the moon. It is normal to be disappointed (because the mission fails). At ISRO, we have been working for the past four years to make the Chandrayaan-3 mission a success,” he said.
“The previous Chandrayaan-2 mission failed during the soft landing. We learned from our mistakes. (This time) we made a lot of changes and added new sensors,” he said.
He said the scientists conducted a lot of field trials and tested it at various centers of ISRO.
“This time we are confident and hope this time it will be successful and the wishes of the people are with us,” he said.
Earlier in the day, ISRO said the mission went according to plan and the spacecraft sailed smoothly.
ISRO said: “The mission is proceeding as planned. The system is undergoing regular checks. All is well.”
The soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 lander on the lunar surface will place India in the elite club of countries that have landed on the lunar surface – the US, the former Soviet Union and China.