Chandrayaan-3 a major milestone completed
Chandrayaan-3 has completed a major milestone
India has successfully launched its third Moon mission with the objective of being the first to land near the unexplored south pole. The spacecraft, named Chandrayaan-3, consisting of an orbiter, lander, and rover, lifted off from the Sriharikota space center at 14:35 on Friday (09:05 GMT). The lander is expected to reach the Moon on August 23-24. If the mission is successful, India will become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, following the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China.
The launch of Chandrayaan-3 was witnessed by thousands of people in the viewer’s gallery, with the rocket’s majestic ascent described by commentators. The event was met with cheers and applause from the crowd and the scientists. Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, the chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), expressed satisfaction with the successful launch, stating that Chandrayaan-3 had commenced its journey toward the Moon and that the spacecraft’s health was normal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the achievement of Chandrayaan-3, describing it as a significant milestone in India’s space exploration endeavors. He commended the dedication and ingenuity of the scientists involved.
Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar exploration mission undertaken by India and aims to build upon the successes of its predecessors. The previous mission, Chandrayaan-2, launched in July 2019, had an orbiter, lander, and rover but experienced a partial failure when the lander-rover failed to make a soft landing due to a last-minute glitch. The orbiter, however, continues to orbit and study the Moon.
Chandrayaan-3, weighing 3900 kg and costing 6.1 billion rupees, shares similar goals with its predecessor, aiming for a successful soft landing on the Moon’s surface. The lander, named Vikram, weighs approximately 1500 kg and carries the 26kg rover named Pragyaan. Once the craft enters the Moon’s orbit, it will gradually reduce speed over the following weeks to prepare for a precise landing. If all goes according to plan, the six-wheeled rover will explore the lunar surface, gathering essential data and images for analysis on Earth.
The mission’s focus on the Moon’s south pole stems from its relatively unexplored nature, with large shadowed areas that potentially contain water. The discovery of water on the Moon’s surface was made during the Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008 near the south pole. The south pole presents higher landing risks but holds more scientific interest due to the limited data available compared to the well-studied equatorial regions.
The Chandrayaan missions not only serve as a source of national pride for India but also contribute to scientific knowledge and the exploration of the Moon as a potential outpost and gateway to deep space. Continued efforts and advancements in space technology are envisioned to eventually establish an active and protected human presence on the Moon.