The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), through its Space Application Centre, director Neilesh M. Desai, stated on Monday that a decision regarding the landing will be made based on the health of the lander module and the conditions on the moon.
ISRO stated on Monday that if any unfavorable factors are perceived regarding the lander module, the landing will be rescheduled for August 27. Neilesh M. Desai, director of the Space Application Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad, mentioned that the decision regarding the landing will be based on the health of the lander module and the conditions on the moon.
“On August 23, two hours before the Chandrayaan-3 descends onto the moon, we will assess the situation of the lander module and the conditions on the moon to determine if it would be appropriate to proceed with the landing at that time.
If all factors appear favorable, we will proceed with the landing on August 23. There shouldn’t be any issues, and we will be ready to land the module on the moon on August 27,” Director Desai stated.
ISRO Chairman and Secretary of the Department of Space, S. Somanath, held a meeting with Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Atomic Energy, and Space, Jitendra Singh, in New Delhi yesterday. They discussed the status and preparations of ‘Chandrayaan-3’. The landing is set for August 23, 2023. ISRO’s Chairman briefed the minister about the health status of Chandrayaan-3 and assured that all systems are functioning properly, with no concerns about any unexpected issues. Over the next two days, continuous monitoring of Chandrayaan-3’s health will take place. The final sequence of the landing will be loaded two days before and tested.
During the meeting, Minister Jitendra Singh expressed confidence in the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 and expressed hope that this mission, guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will create a new history in the exploration of celestial bodies. ISRO stated that Chandrayaan-3 is all set to land on the moon around 18:04 IST on August 23, 2023.
Live activities will be available on ISRO’s website, YouTube channel, Facebook, and public broadcaster DD National TV from 17:27 IST on August 23, 2023.
While the Chandrayaan-2 mission was only “partially successful” as the lander lost contact after a hard landing, ISRO successfully established two-way communication between Chandrayaan-3’s lander module and the still operational Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. This was a significant development, with Chandrayaan-2 orbiter previously already in orbit around the moon, and the Chandrayaan-3 lander module connecting with it.
Earlier today, ISRO shared new images of the far side of the moon captured by Chandrayaan-3. With this achievement, India becomes the fourth country after the United States, Russia, and China to achieve this milestone. However, by landing on the southern pole of the moon, India will become the only country to do so. Chandrayaan-3 has three primary objectives: demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the moon’s surface; showcase the rover’s mobility on the moon; and conduct in-situ scientific experiments.
The development of the Chandrayaan-3 mission began in January 2020, with a launch planned at some point in 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission faced unexpected delays. Jitendra Singh reminded that the first mission in the Chandrayaan series, Chandrayaan-1, which discovered the presence of water on the moon’s surface, was a groundbreaking revelation for the world and even major space agencies. The United States’ NASA utilized this finding for its subsequent missions.
Chandrayaan-3 was launched on July 14, 2023, at 2:35 PM from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, using the GSLV Mk III (LVM3) heavy-lift launch vehicle. Ahead of Chandrayaan-3’s anticipated soft landing on the south pole of the moon, former Director of ISRO and head of the previous Chandrayaan-2 mission, Sivan, stated today that he is confident this mission will be a “magnificent success.”
Speaking to ANI, Sivan said, “This is a very anxious moment… I am confident that this time it will be a great success.” He explained the complexities of the landing process, noting, “We have our own system, and we will establish a successful soft landing without any issues. But it’s a complex process.” When asked if any additional systems were indigenous, Sivan affirmed, “Everything is indigenous.”
Earlier today, ISRO released images of the moon’s far side captured by Chandrayaan-3.