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Chandrayaan-3 & Vikram: Moon Landing



  Sep 11, 2023

Chandrayaan-3 and Vikram:Soft Landing on Moon Explained


A soft landing is a controlled and gentle touchdown of a spacecraft or lander on the surface of a celestial body, such as the Moon, Mars, or another planet. The primary objective of a soft landing is to ensure that the spacecraft or lander reaches its destination with minimal impact and without causing damage to its scientific instruments or the celestial body's surface. Here's how a soft landing is typically managed:
 
Descent Profile: Mission planners calculate a precise descent trajectory that allows the spacecraft to gradually reduce its velocity as it approaches the celestial body. This is achieved through a series of controlled maneuvers and engine firings.
 
Thruster Control: Rocket engines or thrusters on the spacecraft are used to slow down its descent. These engines are carefully controlled to provide the necessary thrust for a controlled landing.
 
Altitude Adjustment: During descent, altitude adjustments are made to ensure that the spacecraft follows a safe and predefined path to its landing site. These adjustments are crucial for avoiding obstacles or rough terrain.
 
Landing Gear: Soft landing missions are equipped with landing gear or landing legs designed to absorb the impact upon touchdown. These legs are engineered to minimize the shock transmitted to the spacecraft.
 
Surface Analysis: Detailed analysis of the landing site is conducted to identify potential hazards or rough terrain. Advanced imaging and terrain data are used to select the safest location for landing.
 
Monitoring: The entire descent process is closely monitored from mission control to make real-time adjustments if necessary. Any deviations from the planned descent profile are addressed promptly.
 
Soft landings are essential for scientific missions, as they enable spacecraft to operate effectively on the celestial body's surface, gather data, and conduct experiments without causing disturbances. The goal is to achieve a controlled, safe, and successful landing that allows for the mission's objectives to be accomplished.
 

Vikram’s Softlanding

Chandrayaan-3, like Chandrayaan-2, aimed to softly land a spacecraft on the Moon. Here's how it works:
 
Lander Descent: After reaching the Moon's orbit, the lander, called Vikram, separates from the main spacecraft. It begins its journey to the lunar surface.
 
Phases of Descent: The descent involves several phases:
 
Rough Braking: First, the lander reduces its speed significantly.
 
Attitude Hold (Orientation): During this phase, it maintains a specific position.
 
Fine Braking: Further reduction in speed is attempted.
 
Landing: This is the final phase where the lander gently touches down on the Moon's surface.
 
Guidance and Control: Onboard computers and sensors help guide the lander and make necessary adjustments during the descent.
 
Monitoring: Scientists and engineers on Earth closely monitor the entire process and can make changes if needed.
 
Learning from Past: Chandrayaan-3 learned from the mistakes of Chandrayaan-2. It made improvements in systems to ensure a safer landing.
 
Successful Landing: The goal is for the lander to touch down softly, avoiding a crash.
 
In the case of Chandrayaan-2, some technical issues led to a crash landing. Chandrayaan-3 aimed to fix those issues and achieve a successful soft landing on the Moon


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