First deboosting of Chandrayaan-3 is successful and approaches the Moon

Tribune News Service

Subadeep Chowdhury

New Delhi, August 18

A day after separating from the propulsion module, the Chandrayaan-3 lander comprising Vikram (lander) and Pragyan (rover) performed its first “deboost” maneuver on Friday, drawing closer to the lunar surface ahead of the expected landing. On August 23.

“The health of the lander module (LM) is normal. LM successfully underwent a deboosting operation that reduced its orbit to 113 km x 157 km. The second deboosting operation is scheduled for August 20, 2023 at approximately 0200 hrs (IST),” ISRO said on X (formerly Twitter). On Thursday, Vikram separated from the propulsion module with Pragyan inside. At the time of separation, the orbit of the spacecraft was 153 km x 163 km.

By August 23, Vikram should reach Perilun (closest to the Moon), about 30 km away, from where deboosters, which act as brakes to slow the 1,750 kg lander’s final descent, will be attempted.

After achieving a soft landing on the lunar surface, the rover (26 kg) inside the lander will exit through a ramp and explore the surrounding area. The rover has two payloads. One (the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer or APXS) will study the chemical and mineral composition of the lunar surface, while the second payload (the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope or LIPS) will study the elemental composition (Mg, Al, Si, K) of the lunar soil. ,Ca,Ti, Fe) and rocks surrounding the landing site.

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