India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon mission off to perfect start; big triumph for ISRO | Tech News

India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon mission off to perfect start; big triumph for ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its third Moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, on Friday with the aim of beating Japan in the lunar race.

| Updated on: Jul 14 2023, 16:29 IST
ISRO has decided to retain the names of the previous moon mission and named the Chandrayaan-3 lander Vikram, while the rover is being called Pragyaan. (AP)

India's third lunar mission, in the form of Chandrayaan-3, lifted off today at 2:35 PM IST from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Chandrayaan-3 took to the skies, carrying the hope and belief of 140 crore Indians with it during the 3.84 lakh kilometer journey to the Moon, which will take approximately 42 days. The GSLV Mark 3 launch vehicle, named ‘Bahubali', carries a payload called SHAPE, which stands for Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth. ISRO has decided to retain the names of the previous moon mission and named the lander Vikram, while the rover is being called Pragyaan.

Before the launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “14th July 2023 will always be etched in golden letters as far as India's space sector is concerned. Chandrayaan-3, our third lunar mission, will embark on its journey. This remarkable mission will carry the hopes and dreams of our nation.” The launch was witnessed by ISRO chairperson S Somnath, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State Science & Technology, and other dignitaries. 200 students from various students from the surrounding region.

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While other space agencies like NASA have carried out Moon missions in the past, India's Chandrayaan program stands out for its affordability. The Chandrayaan-3 mission is expected to cost around Rs. 600 crores. Shockingly, that is also the budget of the recently released film Adipurush!

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Chandrayaan-3 launch: Details

This isn't India's first attempt to chart the Moon. Chandrayaan-1, which launched in 2008, was intended to study the lunar surface over a period of two years. ISRO also launched Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, but the rover crashed before it could land safely on the lunar surface.

Highlighting the change in perspective for the third lunar mission, Somnath said, “Instead of a success-based design in Chandrayaan-2, we are doing a failure-based design in Chandrayaan-3 —we are looking at what can go wrong and how to deal with it".

The first focus of Chandrayaan-3 is to land safely on the surface so the experiments can be conducted. The lander will touch the surface with the rover in the south polar region of the Moon. This time ISRO has expanded the landing area and has chosen a spot with a 4 km x 2.4 km area, instead of a 500 sq meters area like the last time. The larger area is supposed to give the Chandrayaan-3 team more leeway in planning the landing.

After landing, the lunar lander will collect material from the lunar surface for a period of 14 Earth days.

Chandrayaan-3: Tech aboard the spacecraft

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft consists of three major components - rover, lander, and propulsion module. It has advanced technologies onboard such as hazard detection and avoidance on the rover, a landing leg mechanism to aim for a soft touchdown, and altimeters and velocity instruments to estimate altitude and speed above the moon.

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First Published Date: 14 Jul, 16:28 IST