Earth and moon captured together in a video by Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander

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As Chandrayaan-3 is progressing towards its ultimate goal, which is landing on the moon successfully, the excitement is increasing exponentially. Today, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shared the videos recorded by Chandrayaan 3’s Vikram lander. One of the videos was captured by the Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC) on August 15 while attached to the propulsion module. Captured videos provide a clear view of Moon craters. Amazingly, one of the other videos captured by the Lander Imager (LI) Camera-1, shows a glimpse of a tiny Earth far in the background. Also, Moon’s dark side can be seen in the first video where the lander will attempt a soft touchdown on August 23.

The video showing the Earth and the Moon was captured just after the landing module and propulsion module separation, successfully undertaken by ISRO on 17 August. You can also see visuals of far-side lunar impact craters including Fabry, Giordano Bruno, and Harkhebi J. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has earlier captured its first-ever images of the Moon since it entered the lunar orbit.

As reported by ISRO, the Chandryaaan-3 on August 17 completed its fifth lunar orbit as it separated from the propulsion module and began its descent towards the lunar surface. Announcing this maneuver, ISRO posted on X, “Thanks for the ride, mate!’ said the Lander Module (LM). LM is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module (PM).”

What’s next?

As ISRO informed, Chandrayaan-3 will now carry out two orbit-reduction maneuvers where it will initially enter a lower 100 x 100 km orbit, before settling in a 100 x 30 orbit. After this, the spacecraft will then make its final descent for a lunar touchdown, which is expected to occur on August 23.

The propulsion module will continue in its current orbit for months or even years. The Spectro-polarimetry of the Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload aboard the module will carry out a series of experiments. The experiments carried out by this propulsion module will include the spectroscopic study of the Earth’s atmosphere, measurement of variations in polarization from the clouds on Earth, and collection of Exoplanet signatures that would indicate if humans can survive on the Moon.

The successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface will lead India to become the fourth nation to touch down on lunar soil, after the US, former USSR, and China.

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