Today, at 2:35 pm, India’s ambitious Chandrayaan-3 will take flight from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, carrying the dreams and aspirations of an entire nation. A successful mission would place India in the prestigious ranks of the fourth country to touch down on the lunar surface.
Some interesting facts about Chandrayan-3..
- Crowning the massive GSLV Mark 3 heavy lift launch vehicle, affectionately known as the Bahubali rocket, will be the moon lander Vikram. This remarkable spacecraft stands tall at a height of 43.5 meters, reaching only half the stature of Delhi’s iconic Qutb Minar. The journey ahead spans over 40 days, with the spacecraft expected to gracefully touch down on the moon’s surface come August 23.
- Anticipation fills the air as the Indian Space Research Organisation holds its breath, recalling the unexpected challenges faced during their last lunar endeavor in July 2019.
- Reflecting on the past, ISRO Chief S. Somnath revealed, “The primary setback of our previous Chandrayaan-2 mission was the encounter with off-nominal conditions within the system. Not everything went according to plan, and the craft struggled to navigate these abnormal circumstances for a safe landing.”
- Breaking new ground, India’s lunar craft is destined for the moon’s South Pole, where the presence of water molecules has startled the scientific community ever since their discovery during India’s initial moon mission back in 2008. Vikram, the trusty lander, has been meticulously designed to ensure a secure and gentle touchdown. Once on the moon’s surface, it will release the rover Pragyan, embarking on a lunar day’s worth of exploration, which equates to a remarkable 14 days on Earth. The rover will engage in scientific experiments, meticulously analyzing lunar soil, embarking on captivating moonwalks, and documenting lunar tremors.
- Drawing from the lessons learned during their last mission, ISRO has taken several precautions for the success of Chandrayaan-3. They have reduced the number of engines on the lander from five to four and upgraded the software, subjecting every aspect to rigorous testing. Mr. Somanath expressed that the new mission has been thoughtfully crafted to ensure a triumphant landing, even in the face of potential challenges. Various scenarios, including sensor, engine, algorithm, and calculation failures, have been scrutinized, with countermeasures developed to overcome them.
- India’s inaugural lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, graced the skies in October 2008 and remained operational until August 2009. In 2019, Chandrayaan-2’s lander deviated from its intended trajectory and encountered a difficult landing, but the orbiter continues its journey, faithfully orbiting the moon and transmitting valuable data back to Earth.