NEW DELHI: Isro is keeping the possibility of keeping an alternative date for Chandrayaan-3 landing on August 27 if it will not be appropriate to land the Vikram module on August 23, said a senior official of the space agency on Monday.
Nilesh M Desai, director of Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre, told a news agency, “We have made full preparations for the August 23 soft landing and we are hopeful that the landing will happen on that day.” Desai, however said, “On August 23, two hours before the landing, we will decide whether it will be appropriate to land it at that time based on the health of the lander module and conditions on the Moon. If any factor appears to be not favourable, then we will land the module on the Moon on August 27. For that too, we have made all preparations.”
Keeping in mind the botched landing of Chandrayaan-2 lander, Isro is taking all precautions with Chandrayaan-3 this time. Learning from the Chandrayaan-2 mistakes, Isro has strengthened the legs of the Vikram lander, done more rigorous testing with the lander and taken all corrective measures this time. After the recent crashlanding of the Russian Luna-25 probe, Isro doesn’t want to take any chances with the lander module after reaching the final stage of the Moon landing.
Desai’s statement shows Isro is not hesitant to delay the landing if the conditions are not favourable on August 23 but it won’t take any risk or chance with the lander. If the landing happens on August 27, the Isro may lose 4 Earth days for the operations of the rover and the lander. However, smooth landing of the Vikram lander is currently the priority of Isro.

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