Chandrayaan-3: Crucial Moon touchdown today

India waits with bated breath as the country's third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 is set to land on the surface of the Moon later at 6.04 pm India time on Wednesday. 

ISRO's Chandrayaan 3 is all set to land on the surface of the Moon today. Photo Courtesy: ISRO Twitter page

The special moment of landing will be telecast live.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Tuesday said the Chandrayaan-3 mission is on schedule and sailing smoothly for a soft landing on the South Polar Region of the Moon on Wednesday evening.

The systems are undergoing regular checks and the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) was buzzing with energy and excitement.

ISRO in a tweet said, "Chandrayaan-3 the mission is on schedule. Systems are undergoing regular checks. Smooth sailing is continuing. The MOX is buzzed with energy & excitement! The live telecast of the landing operations at MOX/ISTRAC will begin at 1720 hrs on August 23, 2023."

Meanwhile, ISRO released a fresh set of images of the moon captured by the Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC) from an altitude of about 70 km, on Aug 19.

The LPDC images assist the Lander Module in determining its position (latitude and longitude) by matching them against an onboard Moon reference map and the Moon as captured by the Lander Imager Camera-4 on Monday.

PM to join landing event virtually:

PM Narendra Modi, who is currently in South Africa, will join the landing programme of the mission virtually.

Why is this mission important?

Chandrayaan-3's Lander Module (LM) – lander Vikram and rover Pragyan – is scheduled to make a touch down near the lunar south pole at 6.04 pm Indian time on Wednesday, days after the failure of a Russian vehicle trying to achieve the same feat.

The success of this Moon mission will make India the fourth country to master the technology of soft-landing on the lunar surface after the US, China, and the erstwhile Soviet Union.

This is India's second attempt to land on the Moon after a failure in 2019.

Chandrayaan-2 had failed in its lunar phase when its lander 'Vikram' crashed into the surface of the Moon following anomalies in the braking system in the lander while attempting a touchdown on September 7, 2019.