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To the Moon: ISRO Set to Launch Chandrayaan-3 Next Week

Chandrayaan-3 follows in the footsteps of India's previous lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, which intentionally crashed into the Moon's South Pole in 2008.


In a renewed attempt to achieve a successful lunar landing, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch Chandrayaan-3 on July 14. Following the lessons learned from the Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO has adopted a failure-based approach in designing Chandrayaan-3, focusing on identifying potential failures and implementing protective measures. This landmark mission holds significant importance as it will be the first spacecraft to attempt a landing on the unexplored South Pole of the Moon.

With an array of scientific instruments on board, Chandrayaan-3 will conduct experiments on the lunar surface for 14 Earth days, equivalent to one lunar day. ISRO has emphasized that this mission serves as a stepping stone toward developing and demonstrating technologies for future interplanetary missions.

Chandrayaan-3 mission

Chandrayaan-3 primarily focuses on landing and roving, with no orbiter element this time. The scheduled launch of Chandrayaan-3 is July 14 at 2:35 pm, when the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM-3) will take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-3 comprises an indigenous Lander module (LM), Propulsion module (PM), and a Rover. The LM is designed to softly touch down at a predetermined lunar site and deploy the Rover, which will perform in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during its mobility.

One of the key highlights of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is the landing on the Moon’s South Pole. This region has remained largely unexplored, making it a prime target for scientific investigation. The successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 at the South Pole would showcase India’s technological prowess and ambitious space exploration endeavors.

The lunar South Pole, Moon’s perpetually shadowed regions offer the possibility of sampling Moon ice, potentially confirming the presence of water and unlocking valuable insights into the composition of the early Solar System. Additionally, the large craters near the lunar South Pole could provide crucial clues for understanding the geological history of the Moon.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission not only aims to contribute to scientific knowledge but also aligns with broader spacefaring ambitions. The data and insights gathered during this mission will be valuable for future lunar exploration, including the upcoming Artemis-III mission of the United States, which plans to land humans on the Moon in the next few years.

Chandrayaan-3 follows in the footsteps of India’s previous lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, which intentionally crashed into the Moon’s South Pole in 2008. Chandrayaan-1 confirmed the presence of water ice, making a significant scientific breakthrough.

As the launch date approaches, excitement builds not only in India but also among the global space community. Chandrayaan-3 promises new discoveries and insights, pushing the boundaries of human understanding of the Moon and setting the stage for future interplanetary exploration.

ISRO Chairman S Somanath explained the rationale behind the new design approach, stating, “By adopting a failure-based design, we have expanded our ability to handle parameter variations and potential failures. Chandrayaan-3 represents our commitment to learning from past experiences and ensuring the success of this mission.” He further added, “The ability to handle parameter variation or dispersion was very limited in Chandrayaan-2. So, instead of a success-based design, we are doing a failure-based design in Chandrayaan-3. We are looking at what all can fail and how to protect against those failures.” ISRO has announced the completion of all electrical tests of the launch vehicle (LVM-3), which validated its ability to withstand the harsh vibration and environment during the launch process.

The Indian space agency has invited citizens to witness the launch of Chandrayaan-3 from the Launch View Gallery at Sriharikota, offering a unique opportunity to experience the historic event firsthand. Registration for the launch view gallery is available on the ISRO website.

Chandrayaan-3 aims to address the shortcomings encountered during Chandrayaan-2 and showcase India’s advancements in lunar exploration. The new mission includes improved measures to handle variations and uncertainties in order to enhance the probability of a successful landing.

With Chandrayaan-3, ISRO aims to join the ranks of countries that have successfully landed spacecraft on the moon, highlighting India’s growing prowess in space exploration. As the launch date approaches, anticipation and excitement continue to build, and the entire nation eagerly awaits the outcome of this ambitious mission.

As India prepares to make its mark once again in the field of lunar exploration, the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 would undoubtedly be a remarkable achievement and a testament to India’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of space science and technology.


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