Chandrayaan-3 on track for July launch, confirms ISRO chief
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon launch the Chandrayaan-3 mission. The space agency's Chairman S Somnath said he was 'confident' that the mission will take off in July. Chandrayaan-3, as the name suggests, will be ISRO's third mission to the Moon and will be a "follow-on" to Chandrayaan-2. Let's take a deeper look at what the upcoming expedition is about.
Why does this story matter?
The launch of the much-anticipated Chanrayaan-3 mission is drawing closer. It will mark India's foray into landing and roving on the Moon, a milestone that has been achieved by only a few nations. In the past few months, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has been subjected to a couple of tests. In March, it passed a crucial vibrations and acoustics test.
What is the Chandrayaan-3 mission about?
The upcoming Chandrayaan-3 mission will focus on three objectives. To start with, it will demonstrate safe and soft landing on the Moon's surface. ISRO has previously attempted to achieve soft landing on the lunar surface with the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which launched in 2019. The mission was not successful and the spacecraft crash-landed on the Moon due to technical anomalies.
Other objectives are roving on Moon and conducting in-situ experiments
The mission will also aim to demonstrate roving on the Moon and conduct in-situ scientific experiments. When it takes off in July, Chandrayaan-3 will launch atop an LVM3 (Launch Vehicle Mark 3) rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota.
Chandrayaan-3 will comprise a lander, rover and propulsion module
The Chandrayaan-3 mission will be equipped with a Lander module (LM), a Propulsion module (PM), and a rover. All three modules sum up to roughly 3,900kg. "The lander will have the capability to soft land at a specified lunar site and deploy the rover which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility," per ISRO.
What is the role of the propulsion module?
The PM will have the task of carrying the lander and rover configuration until 100km into the lunar orbit and separating the LM. Both the lander and rover will be carrying scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface. The PM will also have one scientific payload as a "value addition" which will operate after the separation of LM.
Take a look at the different payloads
A part of the lander payloads is the 'passive Laser Retroreflector Array,' provided by NASA. It is designed for lunar laser ranging studies. Among the rover payloads is the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), which will help "determine the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site." Meanwhile, the propulsion module's payload will help with the study of exoplanets.
Chandrayaan is an ongoing lunar space exploration program by ISRO
The Chandrayaan series is an ongoing lunar space exploration program headed by ISRO. The first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, discovered water on the Moon. The mission operated for nine months. The second mission in the line-up, Chandrayaan-2 followed in July 2019. The mission was successfully inserted into orbit in August 2019. However, it lost communications with the ground teams and crashed on the Moon.Share this timeline