On Friday, ISRO published some detailed pictures of the Moon. Back on August 15, the spacecraft pulled off something pretty amazing – it snagged some absolutely breathtaking pictures of the Moon using its Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC).
For those unaware, on August 17, the lander effectively disconnected from the spacecraft’s propulsion module. They’re scheduled to touch down on August 23rd.
Mylswamy Annadurai, a former ISRO scientist, said that after the lander module’s deboosting process takes place on Friday, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft will gear up for a gentle touchdown on the Moon.
The ISRO Chairman had mentioned before that the trickiest part of the landing is twofold: first, getting the lander’s speed just right as it’s 30 km above the lunar surface, and second, smoothly shifting the spacecraft from a horizontal to a vertical orientation.
The gap between the Lander module (that’s Lander Vikram and rover Pragyan) and the Moon’s surface is about to get even smaller come Friday. According to ISRO, after today’s deboosting maneuver, Chandrayaan-3’s Lander will settle into an orbit where the nearest point to the Moon (Perilune) is just 30 km away, while the farthest point (Apolune) stretches to 100 km.
The pictures snapped by Chandrayaan-3 really show off its skills, giving us a super detailed look at the Moon’s surface. These images not only demonstrate how technologically impressive the spacecraft is but also lays the groundwork for similar projects in interplanetary travel. Most importantly though, it showcases the Moon’s landscape and topography.
Once the module, Vikram, completes its soft landing on the Moon, Pragyan will get down to some serious scientific business on the lunar terrain, on the lunar south pole.