India launched its ambitious third lunar mission, Chandrayaan 3, making significant strides in moon exploration, a feat achieved so far by the US, China, and the former Soviet Union. Stay updated with the latest news on the Chandrayaan 3 launch through our LIVE updates.

Embarking on its month-long journey towards the moon, Chandrayaan 3 is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) third lunar expedition in 15 years. It hitched a ride on ISRO’s latest heavy lift launch vehicle, called ‘Fat boy’ LVM3-M4, from Sriharikota.

The mission’s most challenging objective is a successful soft landing of the payload, scheduled for late August. The previous Chandrayaan 2 mission was unable to achieve this goal, as communication with the Lander ‘Vikram’ was lost.

The memories of an emotional ISRO chief K Sivan being consoled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, present during the Chandrayaan 2 launch, are still fresh. The disappointment of the unsuccessful landing on the moon’s surface in 2019 has driven the scientists at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre to work tirelessly towards mastering the technology of soft-landing.

ISRO aims to push boundaries by demonstrating soft-landing on the lunar surface with its lunar module and showcasing the ability to rove across the moon’s terrain, paving the way for future interplanetary missions.

It is a historic moment for India’s achievements in space tech under the leadership of PM: Om Birla

Mission to the Moon: All you need to know about Chandrayaan-3

1. Scheduled to land on the Moon on August 23, Chandrayaan-3 is a sequel to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which encountered a crash-landing in September 2019 due to a software glitch. ISRO has incorporated various enhancements based on lessons learned from the previous mission, aiming for a successful outcome this time.

2. Designed to develop and showcase advanced technologies necessary for inter-planetary missions, Chandrayaan-3 comprises an indigenous propulsion module, lander module, and rover. The propulsion module is responsible for transporting the lander and rover from injection orbit to a lunar orbit of up to 100 km. Additionally, it carries the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planetary Earth (SHAPE) payload, enabling the study of spectral and polarimetric measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit.

3. Accomplishing a successful mission would place India in an exclusive group of nations that have achieved this remarkable feat, joining the ranks of the United States, China, and the former Soviet Union.

4. In anticipation of India’s ambitious space program, Chandrayaan-3, former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan emphasized on Thursday that a successful landing would position India as the fourth nation to accomplish this feat. He further noted that such an achievement would enhance the prospects for the development of space science in the country.

5. In an interview with PTI, he highlighted that this milestone would also contribute to enhancing India’s presence in the global space business. Presently, India’s share in the $600 billion industry is a mere 2 percent, and the successful Chandrayaan-3 mission could provide a significant boost to this share.

6. ISRO Chairman S Somanath explained that for Chandrayaan-3, the space agency shifted its approach from a success-based design in Chandrayaan-2 to a failure-based design. The emphasis was placed on identifying potential failure points, implementing protective measures, and ensuring a successful landing.

7. The Chandrayaan-3 lander mission incorporates specialised “lander hazard detection and avoidance cameras” that facilitate coordination between the orbiter, mission control, and the landing process on the Moon’s surface. These cameras play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and successful landing.

8. In contrast to Chandrayaan-2, which consisted of the Vikram lander, Pragyan rover, and an orbiter, Chandrayaan-3 will be launched with a lander and a rover. To fulfil its communication and terrain mapping needs, Chandrayaan-3 will utilize the existing Orbiter that was deployed during the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

9. The Chandrayaan-3 mission has been equipped with increased fuel capacity, providing it with enhanced capability for extended travel, dispersion handling, or the ability to shift to an alternative landing site if required. Moreover, the Vikram lander has been upgraded with additional solar panels on various surfaces, ensuring continuous power generation regardless of its landing orientation.

10. The ISRO chief revealed that the landing zone for Chandrayaan-3 has been expanded from 500m x 500m to an area measuring four km by 2.5 km. He explained that this enlargement provides flexibility, allowing the lander to touch down anywhere within that designated area instead of being limited to a specific target point. This adaptability becomes crucial in cases where the mission encounters suboptimal conditions or performance.

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