ISRO will try to soft-land Chandrayaan-3’s Lander Module, comprising the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover, on the lunar south pole at 6.04 pm

Huge moment for India: Chandrayaan-3 soft-lands on Moon

India's moon mission was a roaring success as Chandrayaan-3 completed a successful soft-landing on the Moon's south pole

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India broke out into celebrations as Chandrayaan-3 soft-landed on the lunar south pole at 6.04 pm on Wednesday (August 23) without any hiccups.

With this, India has joined the elite club of only three other countries — US, China, and the erstwhile Soviet Union — that have managed to soft-land on the lunar surface. More significantly, it became the first country to reach the uncharted south pole of Earth’s only natural satellite.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined in from South Africa as ISRO live-streamed the landing. The rough-braking and fine-braking phases went exactly as planned and the Lander Module touched down on the lunar south pole smoothly in the scheduled time.

Chandrayaan-3’s Lander Module, comprising the Vikram lander and the Pragyan rover, arrived at the designated landing point around 5.44 pm, as ISRO had tweeted at 12.52 pm on Wednesday.

“All set to initiate the Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS). Awaiting the arrival of Lander Module (LM) at the designated point, around 17:44 Hrs. IST. Upon receiving the ALS command, the LM activates the throttleable engines for powered descent. The mission operations team will keep confirming the sequential execution of commands. The live telecast of operations at MOX begins at 17:20 Hrs. IST,” ISRO’s tweet read.

There were eight stages in the landing, and the final 17 minutes were crucial. The angle of the lander was tilted to 50 degrees for a soft-landing. The rocket’s engines were shut down in the seventh stage.

“We learnt our lessons from Chandrayaan-2,” said scientist Nambi Narayan. Scientific analyst Ravikumar said six types of updates were made from Chandrayaan-2. For instance, height adjusting techniques were updated in Chandrayaan-3, explained Ravikumar.

Chandrayaan-3 was ISRO’s second attempt in four years to soft-land a craft on the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-2 failed in the attempt in the final stages in 2019.

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