Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 1.54 AM IST

India kisses moon


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India wrote legendary history by touching the south pole of the moon which no one has ever touched. Chandrayaan 3 stood proud placing Ashoka Chakra as India's seal on the lunar soil. Named after the great scientist Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space program, the Vikram Lander soft-landed on the Moon without even a minute error.

Similar to the first man landing on the moon 54 years ago, it is the first time in the half-century history of space that India has landed a probe on moon. That too with the rare record of being the first country to land on the South Pole of the Moon. India's first step for humanity to leap later.

Yesterday the sun rose on the moon for India. Landing preparations started at 5:44 pm. At 5:47 pm, the Vikram lander gently touched the moon's south pole on a fixed trajectory, steadily decreasing in speed and altitude. It landed between the Manzinus C and Simpelius N craters. This place is 100 km away from Chandrayaan 2 landing site. After the soft landing, the control centre in Bengaluru established contact with the lander. Three hours later, the lander's hatch opened and the six-wheeled Pragyan rover descended down a steep ramp to the lunar surface. Images of the rover were captured. As soon as the rover landed on the moon, the Ashoka Chakra and ISRO's seal imprinted on its wheels made its mark on the lunar soil.

Landing was precise

The soft landing took place after the speed of the probe, which was travelling at a speed of more than six thousand kilometres per hour, was reduced to two meters per second. It could have landed anywhere in the 4.2 km long and 2.5 km wide landing site. Two hours before landing, scientists at the ISRO Telemetry and Tracking Command Network in Bengaluru sent commands to the spacecraft for the complex landing process, which would last 19 minutes. After that, artificial intelligence software on the probe took over control. The software helped it to automatically detect and avoid potholes and rocky cliffs and land accurately in a safe place.

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