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Chandrayaan-3’s first deboosting successful, gets closer to moon

Tribune News Service

Shubhadeep Choudhury

New Delhi, August 18

A day after it separated from the propulsion module, the Chandrayaan-3 landing module comprising Vikram (the lander) and Pragyan (the rover) performed the first “deboost” manoeuvre on Friday, getting further close to the lunar surface ahead of the expected landing on August 23.

“The lander module (LM) health 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, around 0200 hours (IST),” ISRO said on X (formerly Twitter). On Thursday, Vikram, with Pragyan placed inside, had separated from the propulsion module propelling it. At the time of the separation, the orbit of the spacecraft was 153 km x 163 km.

By August 23, Vikram will have to reach a perilune (closest point to Moon) of around 30 km, from where the final descent by the 1,750 kg lander will be attempted with the deboosters working as brakes to slow down its descent.

After achieving soft-landing on the lunar surface, the rover (26 kg) inside the lander would come out through a ramp and explore the area around it. The rover has two payloads. While one (Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer or APXS) will study the chemical and mineralogical composition of lunar surface, the second payload (Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope or LIBS) will study elemental composition of lunar soil (Mg, Al, Si, K,Ca,Ti, Fe) and rocks around the landing site.

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