India’s Chandrayaan-3 attempts historic moon landing

Watch live as India’s Chandrayaan-3 attempts to land on the moon on Wednesday, 23 August. India’s third moon rocket will try to conduct a soft landing on the lunar south pole.

If successful, the rocket will make history as the first lander to touch down on the south pole of the moon, and will make India the fourth country in the world to achieve a soft landing on Earth’s satellite.

The moon’s south pole, which is covered in water-ice in some permanently shadowed areas, is of significant interest to scientists.

Water-ice could support human habitation in the future, according to researchers.

Though other countries such as the US and China have completed soft landings near the Moon’s equator, none have successfully conducted missions to its south pole.

The Indian Space Research Organisation said teams are awaiting the arrival of the mission’s Lander Module (LM) at its designated point around 5.44pm local time (1.14pm BST) to initiate the landing sequence.

Once this is initiated, the LM will activate its engines for a powered descent.

Then the mission’s Vikram lander will start hurtling towards the lunar surface at about 1.68km per second.

Its engines will need to fire to align the probe vertically to the Moon’s surface.

A soft landing on the lunar south pole is expected at around 6.04pm local time (12.34pm GMT).

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