The spacecraft is scheduled to land on the moon's South Polar region on August 23, 2023
Chandrayaan-3 has achieved a significant milestone in its mission to the moon with the Lander Module successfully separating from the Propulsion Module on Thursday (August 17, 2023). The next Lander Module (Deorbit 1) maneuver is scheduled for Friday (August 18, 2023) around 1600 hrs IST, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

The spacecraft is scheduled to land on the moon's South Polar region on August 23, 2023, covering a distance of over 300,000 km.

ISRO had successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which aims to land a spacecraft on the moon's surface and conduct scientific experiments to learn more about the moon's composition, on July 14, 2023. A successful soft landing on the surface of the Moon would make India the fourth country in the world to achieve such a significant technological capability.

Here are some significant milestones in the journey of Chandrayaan-3

August 17, 2023: Lander Module is successfully separated from the Propulsion Module. De-boosting planned for August 18, 2023.

August 5, 2023: Chandrayaan-3 is successfully inserted into lunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 164 km x 18074 km, as intended.

August 1, 2023: The spacecraft is successfully inserted into the translunar orbit. The orbit achieved is 288 km x 369328 km.

July 15, 2023: The first orbit-raising maneuver (Earthbound firing-1) is successfully performed at ISTRAC/ISRO, Bengaluru. Spacecraft is now in 41762 km x 173 km orbit.

July 14, 2023: The mission is launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, using a Launch Vehicle Mark-3 rocket.

Chandrayaan-3 is India's third mission to Earth's natural satellite, the moon, with an approved cost of Rs 250 crores (excluding the launch vehicle cost). Once it successfully lands on the lunar surface, it is expected to operate for a duration of one lunar day, equivalent to approximately 14 Earth days. This timeframe aligns with the unique lunar day-night cycle, which is significantly longer than a typical Earth day.

During this period, the spacecraft will carry out its intended mission, conducting scientific experiments, capturing high-resolution images, and collecting valuable data about the lunar terrain, geology, and atmosphere. This agenda will be executed with the assistance of three major components — Lander, Rover, and Propulsion Modules. It will be using the Orbiter from Chandrayaan-2 which still exists in the lunar atmosphere.

According to ISRO, the Lander will have the capability to soft land at a specified lunar site and deploy the Rover which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility.