Science & Tech

Countdown to the Launch of the Chandrayaan-3 Mission

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch the Chandrayaan 3 mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14.
  • This mission follows the Chandrayaan 2 mission, which ran into technical difficulties and crashed landed on the moon in September 2019.

Chandrayaan-3: Mission Specifics and Landing

  • Vehicle for Launch: The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) rocket will carry Chandrayaan 3.
  • The spacecraft is planned to land near the moon’s South Pole.
  • Chandrayaan 3 will be operational on the lunar surface for one lunar day, which is comparable to 14 Earth days.

The Importance of the Lunar South Pole

  • The presence of towering massifs and constantly shadowed craters that may contain volatile chemicals and water-ice deposits makes the lunar South Pole an intriguing place for scientists.
  • Insights into Planetary Formation: Studying the age and impact melt of the South Pole-Aitken Basin could reveal insights into planetary formation.
  • Useful Resource: The South Pole’s volatile deposits could be a useful resource for future exploration and astrobiology investigations.
  • Solar Power Potential: Because some mountain summits near the pole receive extended periods of sunlight, they might be used to provide continuous solar power.
  • Craters at the South Pole may hold a fossil record of the early Solar System, which could provide vital scientific data.

The route and landing procedure

  • Similar to Chandrayaan 2, with a propulsion module orbiting Earth before travelling to the moon.
  • Lunar Orbit and Landing: Once within the moon’s gravitational pull, the module will lower itself to a circular orbit of 100 x 100 km. After that, the lander will detach and fall to the lunar surface.

Payloads for Scientific Research

  • The Lander: The lander, dubbed ‘Vikram,’ will carry four scientific payloads designed to investigate the moon’s surface temperature and subsurface properties.
  • The Rover: As it roves about the lunar surface, the rover, dubbed ‘Pragyan,’ will undertake chemical and optical testing.

The Goals of Chandrayaan 3

  • Demonstration of a Safe Landing: The mission of Chandrayaan 3 is to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface.
  • Rover Roving Capability: The mission will demonstrate the rover’s capacity to traverse the lunar surface.
  • Experiments on the Moon: Chandrayaan 3 will perform scientific experiments on the moon.

Development and Delay Phase

  • The Chandrayaan 3 development phase began in January 2020, with scientists and engineers working on the spacecraft’s design and assembly.
  • Delays in manufacturing: The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the production and testing of the propulsion systems.
  • Launch Date: The launch, which was originally scheduled for early 2021, was postponed owing to the pandemic. The spacecraft will now launch in July 2023.

The significance of Chandrayaan 3

  • The Third Lunar Mission of India: Chandrayaan 3 is India’s third lunar mission and the country’s second attempt at a gentle moon landing.
  • Rekindled Interest in Moon Exploration: Following the discovery of water on the lunar surface by Chandrayaan-1, there has been renewed interest in exploring the moon in recent years.

@the end

  • Chandrayaan 3 signifies India’s ongoing efforts to explore the moon and land safely.
  • The mission’s success will help to enhance science and our understanding of the lunar surface.
  • As space organisations around the world plan future lunar missions, humanity’s return to the moon after more than five decades appears to be approaching.
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