Get ready for an exciting event in space history! India is all set to attempt a remarkable moon landing on Wednesday morning, August 23rd, and you have the opportunity to witness this incredible moment live.
The mission involves India’s spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3, which is scheduled to softly touch down near the lunar south pole at around 8:34 a.m. EDT (1234 GMT; 6:04 p.m. Indian Standard Time, IST). If successful, this achievement will make India the fourth country ever to achieve a smooth landing on the moon, joining the ranks of the Soviet Union, the United States, and China.
You can catch the live coverage of this touchdown attempt right here on Space.com. The coverage is brought to you by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and can also be accessed directly via ISRO’s platforms. The coverage is scheduled to start at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT; 5:20 p.m. IST).
The Chandrayaan-3 mission has been progressing smoothly up until now. The spacecraft was launched on July 14th and successfully entered the moon’s orbit on August 5th. On August 17th, a significant step was taken as Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander separated from its propulsion module, setting the stage for the eagerly awaited touchdown attempt on Wednesday.
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This touchdown endeavor will take place near the lunar south pole, an area believed to contain valuable water ice resources. While Chandrayaan-3 won’t be the first to explore this region on the surface, as Russia’s Luna-25 lander made an unsuccessful attempt on August 21st, it is still a pivotal endeavor. Luna-25’s engine burn mishap led to a crash on the lunar surface.
Should Vikram succeed in landing on Wednesday, it will deploy a small rover called Pragyan onto the moon’s gray terrain. These two robots will then conduct thorough research in their surroundings for approximately one lunar daytime, equivalent to about 14 Earth days. They will be equipped with a variety of scientific tools to facilitate their study.
This will be India’s second endeavor to land on the moon. The initial attempt in 2019 was unfortunately unsuccessful, as the Chandrayaan-2 lander encountered problems during its descent and ended up crashing on the moon’s surface. Despite this setback, Chandrayaan-2’s mission wasn’t a complete failure. Alongside the lander, an orbiter was also sent, which is still operational today. In fact, Vikram, the lander of Chandrayaan-3, has even established successful two-way communication with the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, as reported by ISRO.
So mark your calendars and get ready to witness history in the making. India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission is on the verge of achieving an extraordinary feat with its moon landing attempt on Wednesday. Tune in to Space.com or ISRO’s platforms for live coverage starting at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT; 5:20 p.m. IST) to join in on this remarkable journey into space exploration.