From New Delhi, an update reveals that Chandrayaan-3’s lander module has transmitted its initial batch of visual data from the Moon. These images were taken by cameras on the Vikram lander after it separated from the propulsion module. Earlier, the combined module had already sent images of the lunar surface shortly after reaching lunar orbit.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) unveiled these newly released images on Thursday, showing craters on the Moon’s surface that were previously identified as ‘Fabry,’ ‘Giordano Bruno,’ and ‘Harkhebi J’ in Isro’s previous photographs. On August 15, Isro shared images captured by the Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC), as well as visuals from the Lander Imager (LI) Camera-1 on August 17, immediately after separation from the propulsion module.
Simultaneously, the lander underwent a significant deboosting maneuver on Friday, transitioning to a slightly lower orbit. This maneuver, performed after successful separation from the propulsion module the day before, involves reducing speed to position the lander in an orbit where the closest point to the The closest point to the Moon, known as the Perilune, measures approximately 30 km, while its farthest point, referred to as the Apolune, spans about 100 km.
After 35 days from its July 14 launch, the lander module successfully detached from the propulsion module. The module, containing the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, is slated to be further lowered to an orbit closer to the lunar surface. This strategic alignment is intended to achieve a gentle touchdown on the southern region of the moon on August 23rd.
Designed to execute a gentle landing at a predetermined lunar site, the lander has the capability to deploy the rover. The rover will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the Moon’s surface during its mobility. Both the lander and rover carry scientific instruments for conducting experiments on the lunar surface.
Isro aims to achieve a successful soft landing on the Moon by August 23, a milestone that would make India the fourth country globally, after the United States, Russia, and China, to achieve this feat.
Meanwhile, the propulsion module, having separated from the lander module on Thursday, will continue its journey in the current orbit for potentially several months or years, as indicated by the space agency. Chandrayaan-3’s defined goals, with an approved cost of Rs 250 crore (excluding launch vehicle expenses), encompass safe and gentle landing, rover mobility on the Moon’s surface, and on-site scientific experiments.