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Lander Vikram successfully separates from Chandrayaan-3, headed for Moon touchdown on Aug 23

Vikram is slated to make a soft-landing on the Moon's surface on August 23.

The Chandrayaan-3’s lander module ‘Vikram’ successfully separated from main spacecraft today and is headed for its scheduled landing on the surface of the Moon on August 23.

“LM (Lander Module) is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module (PM). LM is set to descend to a slightly lower orbit upon a deboosting planned for tomorrow,” ISRO said in a tweet.

After separation from the Propulsion Module, the lander is expected to undergo a “deboost,” which is a process of slowing down, to place it in an orbit, where the Perilune (closest point to the Moon) is 30 kilometres and Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) is 100 km.

The final soft landing on the south polar region of the Moon will be attempted on from this orbit on August 23, ISRO said.

According to ISRO Chairman S Somanath, the most critical part of the landing is the process of bringing the velocity of the lander from 30 km height to the final landing and the spacecraft has to change from a horizontal to vertical direction.

Upon landing, the lander ‘Vikram’ will deploy its four scientific payloads to study the moon’s surface temperature and subterranean characteristics. Additionally, the lander carries an instrument called ‘Spectro-polarimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth’ (SHAPE), designed to collect data on light emission and reflection from Earth.

The 6-wheeled Rover ‘Pragyaan’ will roll out to explore the Moon, using chemical tests, for 14 days. The Rover is equipped with multiple cameras that will send back images to earth. It is backed by a solar panel to charge its battery.

The success of Chandryaaan-3 will make India only the fourth nation after the USA, Russia and China to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.

The spacecraft will have covered a journey of 300,000 km before its scheduled landing on the moon.

Also read: Chandrayaan-3 sends back first photos of Moon as it moves closer