As Chandrayaan-3 makes historic moon landing, know the next steps of the ISRO mission | Tech News

As Chandrayaan-3 makes historic moon landing, know the next steps of the ISRO mission

After the Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander touched down successfully on the lunar soil, know what’s next for ISRO’s Moon mission.

| Updated on: Aug 23 2023, 20:34 IST
Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission: 5 facts to know
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1/7 The Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 from Sri Harikota, India's main spaceport in  Andhra Pradesh. From the day of its launch, Chandrayaan-3  has looped through progressively wider-ranging orbits of Earth. It then transferred to a lunar orbit and emerged as a focus of national pride. Our Moon mission become a global interest after Russia's Moon mission Luna-25  failed to land on the moon. (PTI)
2/7 The landing of  Chandrayaan-3 is aimed at the lunar south pole. Lunar south pole is a region that may have water ice or frozen water. It can be an abundant source of oxygen, fuel, and water that can be extremely important for future moon missions. (AFP)
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3/7 Chandrayaan-3 will be functional for two weeks if it lands successfully on the lunar surface. It will run various experiments which will include a spectrometer analysis of the mineral composition of the surface of the moon. (via REUTERS)
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4/7 The lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is about 2m tall. Its mass is said to be about  1,700 kg (3,747.86 lb) which can deploy a small 26 Kg lunar rover. (HT_PRINT)
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5/7 For the smooth landing of the  Chandrayaan-3 on the south pole of the Moon, rough terrain can be a great hurdle. However, adjustments have been made by ISRO scientists that will help Chandrayaan-3 to stick its landing. (ISRO)
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6/7 The adjustments include a system to broaden the potential landing zone and the lander has been equipped with more fuel and sturdier legs to be more effective. (REUTERS)
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7/7 If this mission becomes successful, it would make India the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, after the former USSR, the United States, and China, and India will be able to mark its emergence as a strong space power. ISRO will telecast the planned Chandrayaan-3  landing starting from 1720 IST (1150 GMT) on August 23, 2023. (ISRO twitter)
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Chandrayaan-3 lander made a historic touchdown near the lunar South Pole on August 23, at 6:04 PM IST, and captured snapshots of the lunar surface during its descent. (ISRO)

Chandrayaan-3 lander made history on Wednesday as it effected a successful touchdown near the South Pole of the Moon, With this mission, India also became the fourth nation in the world to touch down on the lunar surface, after the US, Russia, and China. But notably, India has become the first country to land near the lunar South Pole. The world's eyes were on India, especially after the failure of Russia's Luna-25 just days before, and it did not disappoint as the Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander touched down on the Moon's surface at 6:04 PM IST.

After this historic achievement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X, “Chandrayaan-3's triumph mirrors the aspirations and capabilities of 140 crore Indians. To new horizons and beyond! Proud moment for….”

ISRO later shared an update on X, mentioning that a “communication link is established between the Ch-3 Lander and MOX-ISTRAC, Bengaluru.” The Indian Space Agency also published images captured by the Vikram lander's Horizontal Velocity Camera.

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Now, that the Vikram lander has touched down on the lunar soil, know what's next for ISRO's Moon mission.

Chandrayaan 3: What's next

Propulsion module - Chandrayaan-3's propulsion module, which separated from the lander on August 17, continues in its orbit around the Moon, and will carry out a series of experiments over the next few months and even years. Astonishingly, it has over 150kg of fuel left which has boosted its lifespan to several years from the initial estimation of three to six months.

It is equipped with the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload which will conduct experiments such as measurements of variations in polarization from clouds on Earth, a spectroscopic analysis of Earth's atmosphere, and collect exoplanet signatures that would identify habitability.

Vikram lander - The Chandrayaan-3 lander, named Vikram, will open up on one side, creating a ramp for the Pragyan rover. This will only happen after a period of about four hours, when the lunar dust that kicked up during the touchdown due to the Moon's weak gravity, has settled.

During its lifespan of 1 lunar day or 14 Earth days, the Vikram lander will conduct a series of experiments, such as Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) for measuring the thermal conductivity and temperature, and the Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring seismic activity around the landing area on the lunar South Pole.

The Langmuir Probe (LP) aboard the lander will allow it to estimate and gauge plasma density. It will also use NASA's passive Laser Retroreflector Array to carry out lunar laser ranging studies.

Pragyan rover - The Pragran rover, which has the tricolor and ISRO logo on it, will use its navigation cameras to scan the surface of the Moon, moving at about a speed of 1 centimeter per second. It is fitted with an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), and a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS), which will allow it to conduct a qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of the landing site, study the chemical and mineralogical composition, and determine the elemental composition of the lunar rocks and soil in the vicinity.

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First Published Date: 23 Aug, 20:34 IST