India has set goals for its space program, with plans to send an astronaut to the moon by 2040 and establish a space station by 2035.
India’s ambitious Moon mission Chandrayaan 3 is all set to attempt soft landing after its Vikram on Sunday completed the second and final deboosting operation. After completing the highly critical operation, Vikram Lander has now been placed to the lunar orbit where it’s closest point to the Moon surface is just 25 KM. It will now orbit the Moon for around 3 more days where it’s farthest point to the surface will be just 134 km.
Chandrayan 3’s Vikram Lander, which carries a rover in its belly, will now attempt a soft landing around Wednesday from this point in the orbit. If successful, India will be only the fourth nation to land of moon surface.
Chandrayaan 3 could also make history by being the first lunar mission by making a soft landing on lesser explored south pole region of the Moon.
However, it will compete with Russia’s Luna 25, which is also place in the lunar orbit and attempt soft landing on near the south pole region of the moon.
Luna 25 is expected to attempt soft landing on August 22.
Interestingly, Luna was launched on August 11, almost a month after Chandrayaan-3’s launch on July 14.
The reason Chandrayaan-3 will take more time than Luna 25 to reach the Moon’s surface is that the Indian space agency is using a different trajectory to place its probe in the Lunar orbit. Due to the absence of a more powerful launch vehicle, ISRO is using the Earth and Moon’s gravitational force to put Chandrayaan 3 into lunar orbit.