India’s Chandrayaan-3 Embarks on Lunar Mission: A Step Towards Exploring the Moon

Chandrayaan-3 Pic credit -ISRO

India’s highly anticipated lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, has successfully launched, marking the country’s third attempt to reach the moon. This comes nearly four years after the previous mission faced difficulties during its landing in 2019. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) carried out the launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota island in South India.

Chandrayaan-3, meaning “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, aims to demonstrate safe landing and roving capabilities on the lunar surface, conduct scientific experiments, and enhance our understanding of the moon’s chemical composition, natural elements, soil, and water. With a budget of under $75 million, this mission comprises a lander, rover, and propulsion module. The unmanned spacecraft is expected to achieve a soft landing on the moon’s surface on August 23.

To avoid the previous software glitch that caused the crash landing, ISRO has made several improvements. The new version of Chandrayaan has a dedicated focus on its primary task: transporting the lander and rover to a hundred-kilometer lunar orbit. The lander has been modified to handle higher landing velocities, and additional features include solar power, a bi-propellant propulsion system, and software enhancements such as updated control and guidance algorithms.

With a total payload mass of approximately 8,587 lbs., the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft incorporates advanced technologies like laser and RF-based altimeters, velocimeters, throttleable liquid engines, hazard detection and avoidance systems, and a landing leg mechanism. ISRO has taken significant measures to ensure a successful soft landing, conducting extensive testing and simulations to address the weaknesses encountered during the previous mission.

India aspires to become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon, following the former Soviet Union, the U.S., and China. Moreover, it aims to be the first country to land a locally-produced vehicle on the moon’s south pole, further cementing its position in the realm of space exploration.

The success of Chandrayaan-3 would not only be a moment of pride for India but also a significant milestone in the nation’s space exploration endeavors. In recent years, India has witnessed remarkable progress in space technology, with numerous spacetech startups emerging and contributing to the development of launch vehicles, satellites, and earth imaging solutions. The Indian government’s space policy and collaborations with private players have further accelerated advancements in the sector.

Apart from Chandrayaan, ISRO has an ambitious roadmap, including its first human space flight mission, Gaganyaan, and the Aditya L1 mission to study the sun. Collaborative efforts with NASA, such as signing the Artemis Accords and planned joint missions, demonstrate India’s growing presence in the global space community.

The launch of Chandrayaan-3 represents another significant stride towards unraveling the mysteries of the moon, and India’s relentless pursuit of scientific knowledge in the vast realm of outer space.

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