India to join elite space-club with ‘soft landing’ of Chandrayaan-3 on Moon today


By Tapan Moharana 

Biznextindia : India is on the cusp of becoming a global space superpower as its 3rd lunar mission ‘Chandrayaan-3’ is  all set to land on the Lunar surface. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has made several full-proof arrangements for a soft-landing of Vikram Lander on the south-pole of the Moon. The space organization also said that this achievement will mark a significant step forward for India in the fields of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Industry and will symbolise our nation’s progress in space exploration.

“The mission is on schedule. Systems are undergoing regular checks. Smooth sailing is continuing. The Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is buzzed with energy & excitement!” ISRO said in a tweet.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join 1.4 billion Indians from South Africa to witness the historic occasion.


What is soft landing on Moon and why it is crucial ?

A “soft landing” on the Moon refers to a controlled landing of a spacecraft or lander on the lunar surface with minimal or no damage. In contrast to a “hard landing” which could result in a crash or destruction of the spacecraft, a soft landing aims to safely set down the vehicle on the Moon’s surface.

Achieving a soft landing on the Moon is a complex and challenging task due to the Moon’s lack of atmosphere and its relatively weak gravitational pull compared to Earth. Without an atmosphere, there is no air resistance to slow down a descending spacecraft, and the weaker gravity means that landing maneuvers need to be carefully calculated to avoid crashing.

To achieve a soft landing on the Moon, spacecraft typically use a combination of engines, thrusters, and guidance systems. The process involves several stages, including:

  1. Descent: The spacecraft enters the Moon’s gravitational influence and starts descending towards the lunar surface.
  2. Deorbit Burn: If the spacecraft was in lunar orbit, it performs a burn to lower its orbit and initiate the descent trajectory.
  3. Powered Descent: The spacecraft’s engines or thrusters fire to slow down the descent. This phase requires precise control to ensure a gentle landing.
  4. Hovering: Some spacecraft may hover briefly just above the surface to determine the best landing spot and to ensure there are no unexpected obstacles.
  5. Touchdown: Once a suitable landing site is identified, the spacecraft’s engines are further controlled to allow it to touch down softly on the lunar surface.

Soft landings on the Moon are crucial for scientific exploration, robotic missions, and potential future human missions. They allow for the deployment of scientific instruments, rovers, and other equipment to gather data, conduct experiments, and explore the lunar environment. Numerous space agencies and organizations have successfully achieved soft landings on the Moon, with some of the most notable examples being the Apollo missions by NASA and the Chang’e missions by the China National Space Administration.


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