ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 successfully clears yet another crucial test
ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 has passed yet another crucial test. The spacecraft "successfully completed the essential tests that validated its capability to withstand the harsh vibration and acoustic environment that the spacecraft would face during its launch," said ISRO in a statement. These tests were held in the first week of March 2023 at the test facilities situated at the UR Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru.
Why does this story matter?
- With the recent successful tests, things are certainly getting exciting with regard to ISRO's upcoming moon mission.
- Chandrayaan-3 will be the successor to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which launched in 2019.
- This mission will mark India's foray into landing and roving on the lunar surface, a milestone that nations like the US, China, and Russia have already managed to do.
ISRO describes these tests as "particularly challenging"
ISRO describes these tests as "particularly challenging," because the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is a composite of three modules, which are the propulsion module, the lander module, and the mover module. The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configurations until 100 kilometers into the lunar orbit. The mission's prime goal is to "demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving" on the Moon.
The vibration and acoustic tests have provided "sufficient confidence"
The vibration and acoustic tests carried out on the spacecraft "have provided sufficient confidence in the structural integrity and survivability in the launch environment," said ISRO. The agency further added these tests are an "essential part of the qualification and acceptance process for any spacecraft."
The mission will carry a payload from NASA
The lander and rover will port different payloads. Among the lander payloads is a 'passive Laser Retroreflector Array' from NASA, which will help with lunar laser ranging studies. Chandrayaan-3, estimated to weigh 1752 kilograms, will lift off atop a GSLV Mk3 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Andhra Pradesh. The launch is expected to occur in June.
The mission also cleared an engine test held in February
Recently, Chandrayaan-3 passed another important test of the CE-20 cryogenic engine, which will fuel the cryogenic upper stage of its launch vehicle. The agency concluded that the propulsion parameters, during the hot test which lasted 25 seconds, were "satisfactory and closely matched with predictions." It was carried out on February 24 at the ISRO Propulsion Complex's High Altitude Test Facility.