The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday announced that the Lander Module of India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 will touch down on the Moon on August 23 at around 6.04 p.m. IST.
“Chandrayaan-3 is set to land on the moon on August 23, 2023, around 6.04 pm. IST. Thanks for the wishes and positivity! Let’s continue experiencing the journey together,” the space agency said.
The powered descent of the Lander Module with the Rover in its belly is expected to commence at 5.45 p.m. on the designated day.
In the early hours of Sunday, ISRO completed the second and final deebost of the Lander Module
“Chandrayaan-3 Mission: The second and final deboosting operation has successfully reduced the LM orbit to 25 km x 134 km,” said ISRO.
On August 18, ISRO successfully performed the first deebosting operation that reduced its orbit to 113 km x 157 km. This was performed the day after the lander module separated from the propulsion module after a 34-day-long journey towards the Moon.
After the second and final deebost operation, ISRO said that the module would undergo internal checks and await the sunrise at the designated landing site.
Why wait for the sunrise?
In July, while announcing the date of the launch of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said, “If the launch takes place on that day (July 14), then we will be ready for landing on the moon possibly by the last week of August. The date (landing date) is decided when there is sunrise on the Moon. When we are landing, sunlight must be there. So, the landing will be on August 23,” he said.
Mr. Somanath said that if the landing does not take place as planned on August 23, then ISRO will wait for another month to make a landing attempt in September.
“The Lander and the Rover will stay on the Moon for 14 days until sunlight is there. When there is no sunlight, a small solar panel, which is on the Rover, will generate power to charge the battery for the next 14 days until light comes. The temperature there goes down to minus 40 degrees and in such an environment there is no guarantee that the battery, electronics will survive but we did some tests and we get the feeling that it will survive even in such harsh conditions,” he explained.
While announcing the time of the Moon landing, ISRO said that India’s pursuit of space exploration reaches a remarkable milestone with the impending Chandrayaan-3 Mission, poised to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface.
It said that this event will be broadcasted live on August 23, starting from 5.27 p.m. IST. The live coverage will be available via multiple platforms, including the ISRO Website, YouTube, ISRO’s Facebook page, and DD National TV channel.
“The soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 is a monumental moment that not only fuels curiosity but also sparks a passion for exploration within the minds of our youth. It generates a profound sense of pride and unity as we collectively celebrate the prowess of Indian science and technology. It will contribute to fostering an environment of scientific inquiry and innovation. In light of this, all schools and educational institutions across the nation are invited to play an active role in this historic event. The institutions are invited to actively publicise this event among your students and faculty and organize the Live streaming of the Chandrayaan-3 soft landing within the premises,” ISRO said.