“Chandrayaan-3 Lander Receives Special Welcome Message: ‘Welcome, Buddy’.”

Days before the anticipated touchdown of Chandrayaan-3’s lander, named Vikram, on the Moon’s surface, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced a significant achievement. The organization has successfully established a two-way communication link between the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, called PRADAN, and the upcoming mission’s lander. Despite the unfortunate loss of the Chandrayaan-2 lander, the PRADAN orbiter continues to operate in a 100 km x 100 km orbit around the Moon. This development was communicated by ISRO in a post on the X social media platform (formerly known as Twitter), where the organization highlighted that the orbiter sent a warm welcome message to the Chandrayaan-3 lander, Vikram, which is aiming to land on the Moon’s far side.

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ISRO’s post included the message, “‘Welcome, buddy!’ Ch-2 orbiter formally welcomed Ch-3 LM. Two-way communication between the two is established. MOX has now more routes to reach the LM.” This news marks a significant step forward in the Chandrayaan-3 mission.

Additionally, ISRO informed the public that the live telecast of the landing event is scheduled to commence at 5.20 pm on August 23, a Wednesday. This live coverage will be accessible through the ISRO website, the organization’s YouTube channel, Facebook, and the national broadcaster, Doordarshan.

Prior to the impending touchdown, the lander Vikram captured images of various craters on the Moon’s unexplored southern pole region. This region is always facing away from Earth. These images were taken on the previous Saturday and revealed craters with names such as Hayn, Boss L, Mare Humboldtianum, and Bel’kovich. ISRO shared these captivating images on social media platforms.

K Sivan, the former chief of ISRO and in-charge of the previous lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, expressed confidence that Chandrayaan-3 will be a “grand success.” He mentioned, “It’s a very anxious moment…I’m sure that this time it will be a grand success,” when speaking to news agency ANI.

The imminent landing event will be extensively covered, with live broadcasts available on various platforms such as the ISRO website, its YouTube channel, Facebook, and the national broadcaster, Doordarshan.

In preparation for the mission, the lander module of the spacecraft was successfully detached from the propulsion module. This was followed by crucial “deboosting” maneuvers, which facilitated the lander’s descent to a slightly lower orbit. It’s worth noting that the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s lander is named after Vikram Sarabhai, a prominent figure often referred to as the father of the Indian space programme.

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