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Chandrayaan-3 will land even if everything fails: Here’s how

Chandaryaan-3-attempting-a-landing-on-Moon- techtrackr

India’s ambitious moon mission Chandrayaan-3 will be making a soft landing on the lunar surface even if everything fails, ISRO chairman S Somanath has said.

Although it sounds like a safe maneuver, soft landings are generally known as “15 minutes of terror” that have been a challenge so far for India, according to ISRO.

There has to be precise timing required for the rocket engine to fire. Only about 35% of soft landings so far have been successful.

Landing on the moon is difficult as compared to the earth since gravity is lesser and there is very little atmosphere. Dust, rocks, and craters make it difficult to identify safe landing sites.

After the lander failed in Chandrayaan-2, the landing in the current mission is all the more important. Chandrayaan-2 had failed its objective after the lander ceased communication with the ground stations. It was at an altitude of 2.1 km from the surface of the Moon.

What has changed in Chandrayaan-3?

As per ISRO, the lander of Chandrayaan-3, Vikram, will be able to make a soft landing on the Moon’s surface on August 23, “even if everything fails”.

“If everything fails, if all the sensors fail, nothing works, still it (Vikram) will make a landing. That’s how it has been designed — provided that the propulsion system works well,” Somanath said on Tuesday.

He also said that they have made provisions that even if two of the engines of the lander of India’s third lunar mission don’t work, it will still be able to land.

It was on July 14 that the Chandrayaan-3 mission took off atop an LVM-3 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. On August 5, it injected itself into a “translunar” orbit and a day later it entered a lunar orbit.

Now, the wait is for August 23 when the moon mission Chandrayaan 3 will attempt the technically challenging soft landing on the lunar surface.

“…The whole design has been made to make sure that it should be able to handle many failures, provided the algorithms work properly,” said the chairman.

What happened to India’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1?

India’s first Lunar mission was launched on October 22, 2008. Chandrayaan-1 was operational for 312 days until August 29, 2009, against the expected duration of two years. It was successful in achieving at least 95 per cent of its objectives. It found traces of water on the Moon apart from water ice in the North polar region. It also detected Magnesium, Aluminium, and Silicon on its surface.