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Chandrayaan-3: India’s Ambitious Second Attempt to Land on the Moon




Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar expedition, embarked on an accomplished voyage to the moon, sparking both a sense of domestic honor and excitement within international scientific circles. This momentous mission is fueled by the ambition to become the fourth country in history to achieve a soft landing on lunar terrain, an exclusive association currently comprising only the United States, Russia, and China.

The Successful Launch

The scientific community at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) entered into celebratory mode last Friday when an enormous LVM3-M4 heavy-lift rocket successfully transported the unmanned Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft in the moon’s direction. The spacecraft, which included a lunar lander and a mini rover, was victoriously dispatched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, South India. The launch took place at 2:35 p.m. local time on that very Friday. It was closely observed by millions of enthusiastic Indians across various live platforms, such as television broadcasts and digital social media channels.

Chandrayaan-3’s Journey to the Moon

The journey of Chandrayaan-3 to the moon is divided into three phases: Earth-centric, lunar transfer, and moon-centric. After completing five orbits around Earth and increasing its distance each time, Chandrayaan-3 will embark on a lunar transfer trajectory, marking the beginning of the lunar transfer phase. Chandrayaan-3 will insert itself into a lunar orbit upon reaching the lunar vicinity, initiating the moon-centric phase. It will orbit the moon four times, getting gradually closer to the lunar surface with each subsequent loop.

Landing Attempt and Expectations

The imminent landing of Chandrayaan-3 incites substantial expectations. This mission aims to accomplish a gentle touchdown in an area near the least-explored south pole of the moon. Should it triumph, the rover is projected to spend approximately 14 Earth days (equivalent to one lunar day) on the moon, amassing vital scientific information. It’s pivotal to recognize that achieving a safe landing on the moon necessitates a measured and slow method due to the exceptionally sparse atmosphere of the moon. Chandrayaan-3 will conduct an engine burn that will propel it into a circular orbit roughly 62 miles over the lunar surface. The mission’s lander and rover components will subsequently detach from its propulsion module. They carry various technologically advanced instruments primed for conducting experiments and collecting data about the chemical composition of lunar soil, assessing seismic activity, as well as monitoring thermal properties of regions surrounding its south pole on the moon’s surface. These investigative pursuits are targeted at generating comprehensive insight into our natural satellite with hopes for future manned missions there. This marks India’s second effort at achieving a successful lunar landing following their unfortunate failed attempt with Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, which resulted in crashing into the lunar surface. However, good news persists as howsoever, Chandrayan-2’s orbiter remains operational in its celestial path around our natural satellite, delivering valuable information regarding atmospheric conditions on the moon.

Looking Towards the Future

As the Chandrayaan-3 mission progresses, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed it as a testament to the relentless dedication of the nation’s scientists. The Prime Minister tweeted, “Chandrayaan-3 scripts a new chapter in India’s space odyssey. It soars high, elevating the dreams and ambitions of every Indian.” The successful soft-landing of Chandrayaan-3 will indeed script a new chapter in India’s space journey, affirming the country’s growing prowess in space exploration. Learn more.