Chennai: As scientists at ISRO gear up for the soft landing of the much-awaited Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the surface of the Moon, the space agency may postpone the touchdown to August 27 in the event that health parameters of the lander module are found to be “abnormal”, a senior official has said.
ISRO had planned the soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft at 06.04 pm IST on August 23.
The Moon mission was launched on July 14 at 2.35 pm from Sriharikota.
According to ISRO Space Applications Centre Director Nilesh Desai, the focus of the scientists would be on reducing the speed of the spacecraft above the lunar surface.
“The lander will try to land on the Moon’s surface from a height of 30km on August 23, and its velocity at that time will be 1.68 km per second. Our focus will be on reducing that speed because Moon’s gravitational force will also play its part,” he told PTI in Ahmedabad.
“If we do not control that speed, there will be chances of a crash landing. If any health parameter (of the lander module) is found abnormal on August 23, then we will postpone the landing to August 27,” he said.
Earlier in the day, ISRO said the mission is on schedule and it is smooth sailing for the spacecraft.
“The mission is on schedule. Systems are undergoing regular checks. Smooth sailing is continuing,” ISRO said.
Chandrayaan-3 lander module’s soft landing on lunar surface would put India in the elite club of countries that have achieved the feat of reaching the Moon’s surface — the United States, the erstwhile Soviet Union and China.