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India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 launch set to happen July 13

The broad purpose of Chandrayaan-3 is to land a rover on the lunar surface successfully and conduct scientific experiments.


India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 will be launched on July 13 at 2:30 p.m. IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation announced on Wednesday. Chandrayaan-3, which is a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-2 that encountered issues during its landing attempt in 2019, will be launched by the launch vehicle mark III, or LVM3.


The spacecraft will travel more than a month and is expected to land on the surface of the moon on August 23, The Indian Express reported. The mission will include Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover whose landing site will remain the same as the previous mission, i.e., near the south pole of the moon at 70 degrees latitude. Last month, ISRO Chairman S. Somnath said that Chandrayaan-3 is going on the same path as its predecessor Chandrayaan-2 and the landing site is also going to be the same.


The landing site for the integrated Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover is significant to examine water ice on the moon as the site has several craters that remain permanently in shadows. One significant addition to the Chandrayaan-3 mission is the inclusion of the Spectro-polarimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload that will help study the spectral and Polari metric measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit.


The broad purpose of Chandrayaan-3 is to land a rover on the lunar surface successfully and conduct scientific experiments. However, ISRO has outlined three main objectives of Chandrayaan-3 which include a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, rover roving on the moon, and conducting in-situ scientific experiments.


With Chandrayaan-3, ISRO is gearing up to repeat a mission like Chandrayaan-2, which was launched on July 22, 2019. India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 comprised an orbiter, a lander called Vikram, and a rover called Pragyan. The primary objective of Chandrayaan-2 was to attempt a soft landing on the lunar south pole and deploy the rover to conduct scientific experiments.


India then hoped to become the fourth country, just after the U.S., Russia, and China, to make a successful landing on the moon with its Vikram lander. However, during the landing phase, communication with the lander was lost, and it crash-landed on the Moon’s surface. Days after the crash, a NASA satellite released an image of the site of the spacecraft’s impact and associated debris field.

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