Chandrayaan-3, India’s lunar mission, is scheduled to launch today at 2.35 pm from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This mission holds great significance for India as a successful landing would make it the fourth nation to achieve this feat.
- The moon lander Vikram will be carried by the GSLV Mark 3 heavy lift launch vehicle.
- The GSLV Mark 3 stands at 43.5 meters tall, half the height of Delhi’s Qutb Minar.
- The journey to the moon is expected to take over 40 days, with the spacecraft projected to land on August 23.
- Learning from the previous mission, ISRO has reduced the number of engines on the lander from five to four, and updated the software.
- The mission aims to land in the South Pole of the moon, where water molecules have been discovered during India’s first moon mission in 2008.
- Vikram, the lander, is designed for a safe and soft landing. It will release the rover Pragyan, which will conduct experiments and explore the lunar surface for 14 earth days.
- Scientific analysis of lunar soil, moon surface exploration, and recording of moon quakes are among the mission’s objectives.
- The new mission has been designed to handle various failure scenarios, including sensor, engine, algorithm, and calculation failures.
- Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden moon mission, was operational from October 2008 to August 2009.
- In 2019, the lander of Chandrayaan-2 deviated from its planned trajectory and experienced a hard landing. However, the orbiter is still operational and transmitting data.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is hopeful for a successful mission after the off-nominal conditions encountered during the previous Chandrayaan-2 mission. ISRO Chief S Somnath stated that improvements have been made to ensure a safe landing and the mission’s success, even in the face of certain failures. The current mission will explore the South Pole of the moon, which holds the potential for significant scientific discoveries.
With Chandrayaan-3, India aspires to cement its position in space exploration and become the fourth nation to land on the moon. The mission aims to conduct vital experiments and collect valuable data that could further our understanding of the lunar environment. The nation eagerly awaits the successful outcome of this crucial endeavor.