Chandrayaan-3: India's new space mission; know what it will do on the moon
Chandrayaan-3: India's new space mission; know what it will do on the moon

The Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO, has announced that its mission Chandrayaan-3 will launch to the moon on July 14 at 2.35 p.m. This is the third attempt, following ISRO's first two missions, and is being viewed as a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-2. This mission will attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface, a position held by only three countries: Russia, America, and China. Along with this, ISRO has announced the launch of its first solar campaign, Aditya-L1, in August of this year. But, for the time being, Chandrayaan-3 is the most talked about.

So, let us go over everything we know about ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 mission and what it means for the country.

When will Chandrayaan-3 be launched?

ISRO Director General S. Somnath announced on Wednesday (June 28, 2023) that Chandrayaan-3 is ready for launch.

"The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has been fully assembled and tested," S. Somnath stated.

The Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, will launch the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft. It will be launched by the LMV-3 rocket, formerly known as the GSLV Mark 3.

What is the purpose of Chandrayaan-3?

Chandrayaan-3's total budget is estimated to be around Rs 615 crore. ISRO has identified three key objectives for this mission:

Safe and soft landing of Chandrayaan-3's lander on the lunar surface, driving its rover, and scientific testing.

Chandrayaan-3, like Chandrayaan-2, will include a lander (a spacecraft that will land softly on the moon's surface) and a rover (a spacecraft that will move around on the moon's surface).

The lander and rover will be activated for one lunar day, or 14 Earth days, as soon as they reach the moon's surface.

The goal of ISRO's lunar mission is to land softly in the moon's south polar region.

In September 2019, ISRO attempted to land Chandrayaan-2 on the moon, but its Vikram lander was damaged.

According to the ISRO chief, "the picture from the orbiter shows that Vikram Lander has made a hard landing on the moon." The lunar orbiter has captured a thermal image of Vikram Lander."

There are two methods for landing a spacecraft on the moon. The first is a soft landing, in which the spacecraft's speed gradually decreases and it successfully lands on the moon's surface. The second landing, on the other hand, is a hard landing in which the spacecraft collides with the moon's surface and crashes.

ISRO has changed the design and texture of its upcoming mission based on the lessons learned from Chandrayaan-2.

According to news agency IANS, ISRO is likely to rename its lander Vikram and rover Pragyan.

This mission will investigate the chemical elements and natural resources on the lunar surface, such as soil and water particles.

This campaign will vastly improve our understanding of the texture of the moon.

The spacecraft is carrying several instruments for scientific testing, including a seismometer to measure lunar earthquakes. With such a test, scientists will be able to determine the temperature of the moon's surface as well as other elements of the moon's atmosphere.

Chandrayaan-3 will also carry the Spectro-Polarimeter of Visible Planet Earth (SHAPE), which will provide important data to our scientists as they gather information about minor planets orbiting the Moon and other planets outside our solar system where life could exist.

Why is Chandrayaan-3 so important?

The mission of Chandrayaan-3 is critical not only for India but also for the global scientific community.

The lander will land on the moon's surface, about which no information is currently available. As a result of this campaign, awareness of the moon, our planet's only natural satellite, will grow even more.

This will strengthen future space research capabilities, not only for the moon but also for other planets.

What happened on India's earlier lunar missions?

Chandrayaan-3 is ISRO's third lunar space mission, also known as the Indian Lunar Exploration Program.

In 2008, India launched its first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1. It also carried an orbiter and an impact probe, but it crashed near Shackleton Crater. This location was later dubbed Jawahar Point. With this, India became the world's fourth country to raise its flag on the moon. Previously, only America, Russia, and Japan had achieved this level of success.

Then, 312 days later, it lost contact with the Earth. However, before the communication was lost, it was learned that 95 percent of the campaign's goal had been met.

Despite the mixed results, it was a significant step forward in India's space program. Chandrayaan-2 was also crucial in locating water particles on the moon.

After a ten-year wait, Chandrayaan-2, with Vikram Lander and Pragyan Rover, was launched on July 22, 2019.

However, when the lander attempted a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 6, 2019, Vikram lost contact with it. Three months later, a NASA satellite discovered its wreckage and photographed it.

Although the Vikram lander failed, the orbiter continued to collect vital information about the Moon and its atmosphere. India is now preparing to launch its Chandrayaan-3 mission.

What is the Artemis Agreement?

Let us remind you that India is not the only country working on a program similar to Chandra Abhiyan.

You've probably heard of the American Space Agency's Artemis agreement. Last year, the Artemis-1 spacecraft returned to the moon as part of this program. NASA is working on a plan to re-land humans on the moon by 2025 as part of the future Artemis mission.

Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia are also developing their own lunar missions, some of which have received European Union funding.

The Artemis Agreement was established by NASA and the US State Department to coordinate different countries' lunar missions.

It is a non-binding multilateral agreement that establishes a framework for cooperation in civilian exploration and peaceful uses of the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to the United States, India formally joined the Artemis agreement.

But what is the reason that these countries are spending such a huge amount on their lunar missions?

Why spend so much on the lunar mission?

Some refer to it as a new-age space race, while others see it as an opportunity to demonstrate their technical prowess.

In terms of India, there is no denying that it competes with China. India's neighbor has approved the Chang-e-6, Chang-e-7, and Chang-e-8 missions, as well as plans to build a moon research station with Russia.

Aside from the space race, all such campaigns are critical for future lunar missions. These campaigns are especially important in light of the Mars mission.

According to Dr. Lucinda King, project manager for the University of Portsmouth's space project, "it takes less fuel to go to the moon than it does to go into space away from Earth."

Such critical items will be sent to the moon in future missions so that humans can live there for an extended period of time during this decade.

Aditya: What is L1?

This year, Chandrayaan-3 is not India's only major space mission. This year, India plans to launch a space mission to study the Sun.

The Aditya-L1 mission is India's first solar mission. The spacecraft sent on this mission will not travel to the sun but will instead study it from a distance of 1.5 million kilometers away.

The L1, or Long Range Point, is the location between the Earth and the Sun from which the Sun can be seen without being obscured by an eclipse.

Aditya-L1 will investigate the upper solar atmosphere (chromosphere and corona), magnetic field topology, and solar wind, amongst other things.

Only NASA, the German Aerospace Center, and the European Space Agency have sent spacecraft to study the Sun so far.

Chandrayaan-3 Set To Launch On July 14; Everything You Need to Know

Updates: Chandrayaan-3 Moon Mission to launch on July 14

ISRO to Soon Launch Chandrayaan 3 to Space for its LMV3



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