Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Landing: On August 23, all eyes will be on the Vikram Lander as it touches down on the moon. ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission, which was launched on July 14, is all the rage right now because, if successful, India would make history by landing on the moon’s surface for the very first time.
Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Landing: ISRO Gains International Support from NASA and ESA
But a few international space agencies, notably the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), are helping India carry out its third lunar trip. You may be asking how exactly NASA is assisting India in its space programme. NASA has been helping the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) keep tabs on the condition of their spacecraft since launch.
Loans from ISRO Sami Asmar, the Interplanetary Network Directorate Customer Interface Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told The Hindu that the Deep Space Network would be providing telemetry and tracking coverage during the powered descent phase from Deep Space Stations (DSS)-36 and DSS-34 at Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex followed by DSS-65 at Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex.
India has received assistance from both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). Two of the ESTRACK ground stations help the ESA keep tabs on the satellite as it orbits the Earth. Ramesh Chellathurai, a ground operations engineer at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, told The Hindu that his team collects information from the spacecraft and relays it to the Mission Operations Centre in Bengaluru.
The ground stations of these organisations are crucial as the time for Chandrayaan-3’s Lander to touch down draws near. During the Lunar Descent phase, a third ESTRACK ground station has been established to monitor and communicate with the Lander Module.