Chandrayaan-3 creates history! India becomes first nation to land on lunar South Pole

India’s Chandrayaan-3 lander touches down on the far side of the Moon after a breathtaking 3.84 lakh kilometer journey, making it the first nation in the world to do so.

| Updated on: Aug 23 2023, 19:31 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 made its soft landing on the Moon today, August 23, at 6:04 PM IST. (ANI)

India's Chandrayaan-3, which launched on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota, is India's second attempt to touch down on the Moon, following the last-minute failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The GSLV Mark 3 launch vehicle, named ‘Bahubali', carried the hopes and dreams of 140 crore Indians as it made a 3.84 lakh kilometer journey to the Moon, which took approximately 42 days. The propulsion module successfully separated from the lander module on August 17, and it will continue in its orbit, carrying out its own series of experiments. 

The Vikram lander, along with the Pragyan rover, started its descent towards the lunar surface, undergoing a series of manoeuvers such as deboosting, reverse thrusting, as well as various stages of landing, all carried out by the AI-powered Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS).

And now, the much-awaited moment has arrived - India's Chandrayaan-3 has touched down on the far side of the Moon!

Chandrayaan-3 lands on the Moon

Completing its soft landing on the Moon, the Chandrayaan-3 lander sent a message to the nation. “India, I reached my destination, and you too!”, the official account of ISRO posted on X.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was attending this historic event from the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, congratulated the entire ISRO team, as India not only became the fourth nation to land on the Moon but also the first to touch down near the unexplored lunar South Pole. “India's successful Moon mission is not just India's alone...This success belongs to all of humanity”, he said.

The entire landing process was carried out in four stages - Rough Breaking Phase, Altitude Hold Phase, Fine Breaking Phase, and Local Navigation Phase. Astonishingly, there was no human intervention during this period as everything was handled by the Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS) using AI. The ISRO team monitored the Vikram lander's progress from the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.

One of the biggest driving forces behind the success of the Chandrayaan-3 was the failure of their previous mission, Chandrayaan-2, at the very last stage. Kalpana Kalahasti, the mission's associate project director said, “From the day we started rebuilding our spacecraft after the Chandrayaan-2 experience, it has been breathe in breathe out Chandrayaan-3 for our team.

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First Published Date: 23 Aug, 18:08 IST
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