Lander Vikram is expected to touch down on the Moon next Wednesday
Chandrayaan 3's lander Vikram shared latest images of the moon today after completing a manoeuvre that took it closer to its destination.
India's space agency ISRO shared stunning images taken by the Lander Imager (LI) Camera-1, on X, formerly known as Twitter. The montage of images shows different craters of the moon, one of which is the Giordano Bruno crater, one of the youngest large craters on the moon.
The LI Camera -1 also captured images of the Harkhebi J crater, which has a diameter of approximately 43 km. The pictures were taken after the lander successfully detached from the spacecraft's propulsion module yesterday.
"Thanks for the ride, mate," ISRO tweeted, imagining a conversation between the lander module and the spacecraft. The module is set to descend to a lower orbital after a deboosting or slowing down, which will bring it closer to the moon.
Today's process places the Lander Module in an orbit where Perilune (closest point to the Moon) is 30 kilometres and Apolune (farthest point from the Moon) is 100 km.
The lander will attempt a "soft landing" on the south polar region of the moon on August 23, while the propulsion module will continue to orbit around the moon and study the Earth's atmosphere. It will also accumulate signatures of exoplanets that would qualify for our habitability.
After the lander touches down and the lunar dust settles, 'Pragyaan' rover will roll down from the Vikram Lander. Then the lander will take images of the rover and vice-versa.
Following the moon landing, the rover will collect data on the composition and geology of the surface of the moon, paving the way for wide-ranging research.