Varanasi, August 22: As the Chandrayaan-3 lander neared its destination, a 'havan' (religious ritual) was performed at Kamakhya Temple in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi for the success of India's third lunar mission. According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Chandrayaan-3 is set to land on the moon on August 23, around 18:04 hours IST.
Earlier, on Monday, ISRO chairman and secretary of the Department of Space, S Somanath called on Union Minister Jitendra Singh in the national capital, apprising him of the status and readiness of ‘Chandrayaan-3’ for the moon landing. The ISRO chairman briefed the minister on the health status of Chandrayaan-3 saying all systems are working perfectly and no contingencies were anticipated on Wednesday, the scheduled date for landing on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3's health will be monitored
Over the next two days, the health of Chandrayaan-3 will be monitored continuously, he said, adding that the final sequence of landing will be loaded two days ahead and tested out. During the meeting, Union Minister Singh expressed confidence in ‘Chandrayaan-3’ making a soft landing this time, adding that he hoped that it would script a new history of planetary exploration under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chandrayaan-2 mission partially successful
Live actions 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. While the ‘Chandrayaan-2’ mission was only “partially successful” since the lander lost contact after a hard landing, the ISRO successfully established two-way communication between the Chandrayaan-3 lander module and the still-orbiting Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. In a significant development, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter which was already fixed around the moon established a two-way connection with the lander module of Chandrayaan-3 on Monday.
India to be fourth country to achieve the feat
Earlier, on Monday, the ISRO shared new images of the lunar far side area captured by the Chandrayaan-3. India will be the fourth country in the world to achieve this feat after the United States, Russia, and China, but India will be the only country in the world to land on the lunar south pole.
The primary objectives of Chandrayaan-3 mission are threefold -- to demonstrate safe and soft landing on lunar surface; to demonstrate rover roving on the moon, and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments.
Chandrayaan 3 development commenced in January 2020
Chandrayaan-3’s development phase commenced in January 2020 with the launch planned sometime in 2021. However, the Covid-19 pandemic brought an unforeseen delay to the mission's progress.
Jitendra Singh recalled that the first in the series of Chandrayaan -- namely Chandrayaan-1, is credited for having discovered the presence of water on the surface of the Moon, which was a new revelation for the world and even the most premier Space agencies like the USA’s NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) were fascinated by this discovery and used the inputs for their further experiments.
Chandrayaan 3 launched om July 14
Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14, 2023 via the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota at 2:35 PM.