Wishing Indians ‘good luck’, Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams has said she will cheer for India as Chandrayaan-3 mission’s lander module attempts a touchdown on the moon’s surface on Wednesday.
“I am super excited for Chandrayaan-3 on the 23rd of August. Good luck, we are cheering for you,” the veteran NASA astronaut said in a video message shared by National Geographic India.
Williams, who has spent about 322 days in space in her two shuttle missions, said that landing on the moon will provide valuable insights on lunar composition and history.
National Geographic India will telecast a live coverage of the event, which will also feature inputs from space industry experts as well as astronauts like Williams and Rakesh Sharma on space exploration.
“We salute the brave dreamers of the Indian Space Research Organisation. Watch India’s historic touchdown, Chandrayaan 3 Live #countdowntohistory on 23 August at 4 pm on National Geographic,” the channel wrote on platform X.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the lander will begin its moon landing descent at 5.45 pm today, and the touch down to happen at about 6.05 p.m.
The soft landing is a tricky issue as it involves a series of complex manoeuvres consisting of rough and fine braking. ISRO said the powered descent of the lander will happen from an altitude of 25 km.
The Chandrayaan-3 was put into orbit on July 14 in a copybook style by India’s heavy lift rocket LVM3. The spacecraft completed orbiting around the earth and headed towards the moon on August 1.
The success of the mission is of prime importance to India, which will become the fourth country to master the soft-landing technology on moon surface after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union.
In addition, it will also become the first country to reach the unexplored larger south pole of the Moon.