Chandrayaan-3 Successfully Lands on Lunar Surface – ISRO’s Tryst with the Moon Beckons: Chandrayaan-3 Mission : Live Update

July 18, 2023
6 mins read

The ISRO’s mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 3, launched at 2:35 PM IST on Friday, July 14, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The mission’s main objective is to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface and to conduct an in-depth exploration with the assistance of a rover. The mission’s success would position India among the most established nations, such as the United States, China, and the former Soviet Union. 

Pre-Launch Preparations

July 07, 2023:

  • Vehicle electrical tests completed. The launch was scheduled for July 14, 2023.

July 11, 2023:

  • The ‘Launch Rehearsal’ simulating the entire launch preparation and process lasting 24 hours was concluded.

Launch Day Activities

14th July, 2023:

  • 10:14 AM: The Propellant filling in the L110 stage is completed, and commences in the C25 stage. ISRO spaceflight reports on Twitter that the loading of the hypergolic propellants in the LVM3’s core stage is complete, and loading of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in the cryogenic (C-25) third stage has begun.
  • 2:38 PM IST: Chandrayaan-3 lifts off. Chandrayaan-3 has lifted off from Sriharikota. This is ISRO’s third lunar mission and a quantum leap in space.
  • 2:39 PM: The payload firing has been separated successfully.
  • 2:41 PM: The L-110 Stage is burning hypergolic propellants and pushing the cryo-stage and Chandrayaan-3 into the orbit.
  • 2:43 PM: The final stage of the launch, is the C-25 cryogenic stage. This will be used for final orbital insertion and circulation.
  • 2:53 PM: Payload separation is confirmed.
  • 2:54 PM: @ISROSpaceflight reports on Twitter that the launch marked a 100% success rate of the LVM3 class rocket.
  • 5:13 PM IST: So far, Chandrayaan 3’s mission is on the dot: former ISRO chief. The former Chairman of ISRO, G. Madhavan Nair, said that from the data available so far, the mission is on track, and he hoped that the mission would be a success. The Chandrayaan-3 soft landing is planned for 5.47 p.m. on August 23, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said after the successful launch of the mission on Friday, PTI reported.
  • 6:16 PM IST: President Droupadi Murmu congratulates the ISRO team on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3. The President congratulated Team ISRO for the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 via Twitter. “India successfully launches Chandrayaan-3, marking another significant milestone in space exploration. Heartiest congratulations to the @ISRO team and everyone who worked relentlessly to accomplish the feat! It demonstrates the nation’s unwavering commitment to advancement in space science and technology. My best wishes for the success of the lunar mission.”
  • 6:18 PM IST: NASA congratulates ISRO after the launch of Chandrayaan 3. “Congratulations to @isro on the Chandrayaan-3 launch, wishing you safe travels to the Moon. We look forward to the scientific results to come from the mission, including NASA’s laser retroreflector array. India is demonstrating leadership on #ArtemisAccords!” tweeted NASA administrator Bill Nelson.
  • 6:33 PM IST: Measures taken for a successful Chandrayaan-3 soft landing. Ex-ISRO Chairman Sivan: ISRO has taken corrective measures after the failed bid to soft-land on the Moon nearly four years ago, and is expecting a successful touch down on the lunar surface with Chandrayaan-3, its former Chairman K Sivan said on Friday. Noting that it is going to be a challenging job, Sivan told PTI, “This is a very important launch, and we have done it successfully.”
  • 8:26 PM IST: Landing will be an important step for further exploration: ISRO chief after Chandrayaan-3 launch “Chandrayaan3 is a very important step… Landing this time is very important. Unless you land, you cannot take samples, you cannot land human beings, and you cannot create moon bases. So, landing is one important step for further exploration,” said ISRO chief S Somanath, ANI reported.

Post-Launch Activities

July 15th, 2023:

  • Chandrayaan 3 performs its first of the five planned orbit raising maneuvers.

July 17th 2023:

  • The propulsion module of Chandrayaan3 fired its thruster again for 42 seconds, this time raising the perigee of its orbit from 173 km to 226 km.

July 18th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3 has completed its second apogee-raising maneuver.

July 20th, 2023:

The Chandrayaan-3 has attained an orbit of 71351 km x 233 km. The apogee was raised from a height of 51,400 km to 71,351 km.

July 25th, 2023:

The Chandrayaan-3 completed its final Earth-bound apogee raise maneuver, increasing the apogee height from 71,351 km to 1,27,609 km.

July 20th 2023:

The Chandrayaan-3 has attained an orbit of 71351 km x 233km orbit. The apogee was raised from a height of 51,400 km to 71,351 km.

July 25th 2023:

The Chandrayaan-3 completed its final Earth-bound apogee raise maneuver, increasing the apogee height from 71,351 km to 1,27,609 km.

Testing and Preparations

July 27th, 2023:

ISRO completed the 2nd and 3rd hot-fire tests of the #Gaganyaan’s Service Module Propulsion System in phase 2 of its testing, lasting 723.6 and 350 seconds respectively. Another hot-fire test was demonstrated with a nominal de-orbit maneuver.

July 28th, 2023:

ISRO announces the PSLV launch scheduled for the morning of July 30th, which will carry 7 satellites to orbit.

July 30th, 2023:

PSLV-C56/DS-SAR is successfully launched.

Chandrayaan-3’s Journey to the Moon

August 1st, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3 performs its Trans Lunar Injection maneuver, marking its journey towards the Moon.

August 5th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3 successfully completes its Lunar Orbit Insertion maneuver.

August 5th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3 is now in a 164×18,074 km orbit around the Moon. It is scheduled to perform its first apogee lowering maneuver around 11 pm.

August 7th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3 successfully performs its first Moon-bound orbit reduction maneuver, bringing its apolune down from 18,074 km to 4,313 km.

August 9th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3 successfully performs its second Moon-bound orbit reduction maneuver, reducing its apolune from 4,313 km to 1,437 km.

Approaching the Landing Phase

August 14th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3’s orbit is adjusted to 150 km x 177 km in preparation for the landing phase.

August 15th, 2023:

August 17th, 2023:

The landing module, consisting of the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, is separated from the propulsion system.

August 18th, 2023:

“deboosting” operation is conducted, lowering the landing module’s orbit to 113 km x 157 km.

August 20th, 2023:

Chandrayaan-3’s orbit is adjusted to 134 km x 25 km, representing the farthest and nearest lunar points.

August 22, 2023:

August 23rd, 2023: Landing Stage

The anticipated lunar touchdown initiation is set for 5:47 pm IST, with a soft landing planned for 6:04 pm IST.

5.30 PM IST

Rough Braking Phase:

  • The mission operations team analyzed the data and parameters of the lander module.
  • The vertical velocity of the lander module was reduced.
  • The lander imager continuously took photographs of the moon’s surface.
  • The horizontal velocity was reduced, and the altitude was monitored.
  • This phase aimed to reduce the lander’s velocity from 1680 meters/second to 358 meters/second and bring down the altitude from 30 km.
  • The laser inertial reference and accelerometer package (Lirap) aided in navigation during this phase.

Attitude Hold Phase:

  • Lasted for nearly 10 seconds.
  • The lander was oriented so that its sensors would be directed exactly towards the Moon’s surface.
  • Height measurement updates were provided to the navigation system from the laser and other instruments.

Fine Braking Phase:

  • This phase continued for nearly three minutes.
  • The lander’s altitude was reduced to nearly 800 meters by the end of this phase.
  • The lander module’s visual showed it approaching the moon’s surface.

Vertical Descent Phase (Local Navigation Phase):

  • The altitude was further reduced from 800 meters.
  • The lander began its descent towards the landing site.
  • The lander module hovered at nearly 150 meters above the lunar surface.
  • The horizontal and vertical velocities were reduced to nearly zero.
  • The lander approached the moon’s surface and achieved a soft landing.

Confirmation of Landing:

  • Applause indicated the successful performance of the lander.
  • The announcement was made that a soft landing on the moon was achieved, and India had successfully landed on the moon.
  • Throughout this process, various sensors, cameras, and instruments on the lander provided real-time data and visuals to the mission operations team. The entire landing process was autonomously driven by the onboard autonomous landing sequencer, and there was no intervention from the ground.

6:03 PM IST: Chandrayaan-3 Successful Landing

Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram Lander has gracefully touched down on the Moon’s southern hemisphere, marking a monumental milestone for ISRO and India. Our celestial dreams have found their footing on lunar grounds.

20.21 PM IST: Images Sent From Chandrayaan-3 After Landing

A breathtaking glimpse from the Moon! Chandrayaan-3’s Landing Imager Camera captures its own shadow and a serene, flat lunar landscape. It’s not just a landing; it’s a testament to ISRO’s precision and vision.

Pragyan Rover Begins Lunar Exploration

Housed within the Vikram lander, the Pragyan rover embarked on its lunar journey shortly after the landing. This rover’s primary objective is to conduct in-situ experiments, aiming to unravel the Moon’s geological mysteries. Insights from these experiments could reshape our understanding of the Moon’s history and composition.

Congratulatory wishes pouring from across the world:

This provides a comprehensive timeline of the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s significant events and milestones from July 27th to August 23rd.

This is a developing story… Stay Tuned

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