“The spacecraft has covered about two-thirds of the distance to Moon and LOI is set for August 5, around 7pm,” Isro said Friday. Early on August 1, the spacecraft, through the trans-lunar injection (TLI), had achieved an orbit of 288km x 3.7-lakh-km and entered Moon’s sphere of influence.
Saturday will complete 22 days since Chandrayaan-3’s was launched on July 14, leaving 17 crucial days before Isro attempts to soft-land Vikram (the lander). Multiple scientists from the space agency TOI has spoken over the past month are confident of a successful LOI given that it has been achieved twice before in 2019 (Chandrayaan-2) and 2008 (Chandrayaan-1).
With all manoeuvres so far having gone as per plan, Isro is still aiming for an August 23 Moon landing. Chandrayaan-3, in comparison to Chandrayaan-2 has been designed with the capabilities to autonomously handle a wide range of dispersion in order to achieve a soft and safe landing.
According to union minister Jitendra Singh: “The successful soft-landing is envisaged to serve as fore-runner for future landing missions and other technological progress in planetary exploration. Chandrayaan-3 has been made more robust by improvements in the lander to handle more dispersion, improvements in sensors, software and propulsion systems, full level redundancies in addition to exhaustive simulations and additional tests being conducted towards ensuring a higher degree of ruggedness in the lander.”