India is on the verge of a historic achievement as its third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, prepares for a soft and successful landing on the Moon’s south polar region at approximately 6:04 pm today, August 23. In the event of adverse conditions, an ISRO scientist mentioned that the landing might be rescheduled to August 27. However, ISRO has expressed confidence that the lander will likely encounter no issues today.
Four hours before the Vikram lander touched down on the lunar surface, ISRO provided updates on the planned procedures for the final 20 minutes of the landing. In their most recent tweet, the space agency revealed that they would initiate the Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS) once the Vikram LM reaches the designated point.
“Awaiting the arrival of the 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 tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi to watch the event from South Africa
For India, a successful lunar landing signifies its emergence as a space power, aligning with Prime Minister Modi-led government’s push to encourage investment in private space launches and satellite-based businesses. Prime Minister Modi will observe the landing from South Africa, where he is participating in the ongoing BRICS summit.
Landing on the challenging terrain of the Moon’s south pole holds historic significance, with the region’s water ice potentially serving as a valuable resource for future missions, providing fuel, oxygen, and drinking water.
The live broadcast of Chandrayaan-3’s landing will be accessible in all government schools across Uttar Pradesh. In an unprecedented move, government schools in Haryana will open in the evening on Wednesday, August 23, to allow school children to witness the live landing of Chandrayaan-3. Additionally, schools and educational institutions throughout Assam have been instructed to remain open until 6 pm on August 23 and facilitate live streaming of the event within their premises.