India’s third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3, launched on Friday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, with the goal of joining the select group of countries that have successfully made a soft landing on the Moon’s surface.
The mission succeeds the Chandrayaan-2 mission from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which failed to achieve its intended soft landing on the lunar surface in September 2019 due to a lander communication failure with ground stations at an altitude of only 2.1 km from the Moon’s surface.
Later in August, Chandrayaan-3 will make a voyage of more than a month before touching down on the lunar surface. If the mission is successful, India will become the only country to have completed the assignment after the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China.
The safe and smooth landing on the Moon, demonstrating the Rover wandering on its surface, and studying the environment were the three main goals of this $615 million mission, according to the ISRO. The spacecraft is made up of a lander with six wheels and a rover module with payloads designed to deliver information about the moon’s surface. The ISRO provided more information about the project on its website. “Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous Lander module (LM), Propulsion module (PM), and a Rover with an objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for interplanetary missions,” the website stated.
The ISRO and former space agency experts, such as ex-chairman Madhavan Nair and scientist Nambi Narayan, voiced great confidence in the mission’s success. Nair and Narayan emphasised that the ISRO had revised the data obtained from the Chandrayaan-2 mission, taken into account all factors, and learned from previous mistakes.
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