Astronomy: Lander module successfully separated from Indian lunar probe

Landing module successfully separated from Indian lunar probe

India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, the word for ‘lunar vehicle’ in Sanskrit, launches from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India. photo

© Aijaz Rahi/AP/dpa

Only a few countries have managed to land on the moon. India also wants to join this illustrious circle. The first attempt failed – now an important step has been taken.

After the failed moon landing attempt four years ago, India has now taken an important step. The Indian space agency ISRO announced on Platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that the Chandrayaan-3 probe’s landing module had been successfully separated. The remaining probe should continue to orbit the moon for studies.

“Chandrayaan-3” was launched in mid-July. If all goes according to plan, the lander should touch down on the lunar surface on August 23 or 24. So far, only the USA, the Soviet Union and China have managed a soft landing. “Chandrayaan” means “lunar vehicle” in Sanskrit.

The aim is the hardly explored south side

With the unmanned mission, India wants to explore the south side of the moon, which has hardly been studied, for around two weeks. A first attempt failed in 2019. During the mission, the landing module crashed onto the surface of the moon. Later, the space agency informed the parliament in New Delhi, during the approach to the Moon had problems with braking.

A Russian space probe – “Luna-25” – is currently on its way to the moon. It entered its orbit around the moon on Wednesday and is scheduled to land near the South Pole next week.


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