In this world of technological advancements and breakthroughs, space exploration has become one of the major contributors to helping humans understand the universe and earth better to improve human lives. Understanding space and Earth’s position in it can become a stepping stone to discoveries and inventions. In the endeavour of space research, India is working hard to make its contributions and Chandrayaan 3 is one of those efforts that made history.
Chandrayaan 3 is the third mission in the series of a program named Chandrayaan. This program was developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The purpose of this program is to explore the moon and its south pole which contains evidence of ice that can become a source of drinking water and hydrogen. Which can eventually help us understand the history of Earth, the Moon, and the entire solar system.
In this article, we are going to dig deep into the Chandrayaan 3, its history, its journey, and Chandryaan 3 status right now.is.
On 14 July 2023, Chandrayaan 3 was launched from the surface of Earth to its destination, the Moon. It entered the orbit of the moon on 5 August 2023 and landed on the south pole of the moon on 23 August 2023. With the success of Chandrayaan 3, India has become the fourth country, after the U.S., China, and the Soviet Union, to land on the lunar surface and the first country to land on the south pole of the moon.
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2. Background of Chandrayaan Mission
Chandrayaan, which means Moon Craft in Sanskrit. This program is designed specifically to explore the surface of the Moon to better understand the chances of water and other substances on its surface for future missions.
Chandrayaan 1 was launched in 2008, which was the beginning of India’s great mission to explore the moon. This mission was based on an orbiter and an impactor. It also carried NASA’s Moon Mineralogical Mapper to differentiate Ice, Water, and Water vapours. This spacecraft successfully achieved its aim and entered the lunar orbit to explore the moon’s surface and orbited the moon to achieve its objectives. The success of this mission was a great achievement and booster to India’s space program.
After the success of Chandrayaan 1, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) decided to send another mission to the explore moon’s surface in detail by landing on the lunar surface. Unlike Chandrayaan 1, this mission consisted of a lander and a rover in addition to an orbiter. The spacecraft was launched on 22 July 2023. It successfully entered the orbit of the moon but unfortunately, the lander, carrying the rover, crashed while landing on the lunar surface.
To continue its endeavors on the moon, ISRO made another move in 2023 in the name of Chandrayaan 3 and successfully landed on the surface of the moon at the south pole. The spacecraft consists of a lunar lander, Vikram, and a lunar rover Pragyan. The objective was to achieve the goals of Chandrayaan 2, which failed due to an unsuccessful landing on the lunar surface.
3. Objectives of Chandrayaan 3
- Creating and implementing a lander that can achieve a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface
- Showcase the driving abilities of the rover on the moon
- Scientific experiment of observing the surface and the objects on it to understand its composition
4. Chandrayaan 3 Spacecraft
The rocket that is used in this endeavor by
is Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) which has 3 parts a propulsion module, a lander, and a rover. The propulsion module carried the lander, Vikram, and rover, Pragyan to the lunar orbit.
The spacecraft had the same lander and rover but the quality and strength of these two had been increased to a greater extent because of the previous failure of Chandaryaan 2 in order to avoid such incidents this time.
5. How Chandrayaan 3 is Different from Chandrayaan 2?
Several improvements were made in Chandrayaan 3 because of the failure of the Chandrayaan 2 to make a soft landing on the surface of the moon. Some of the main changes that were made in Chandrayaan 3 were strengthening the lander legs, fuel reserve enhancements, and landing site expansions in order to have a wider area for the lander to have a hindrance-free landing.
The major reason behind the failure of Chandrayaan 2 was the loss of control and communication with the Vikram lander while landing on the lunar surface. All these things were taken into consideration while developing and improving the Chandrayaan 3 mission.
The fuel capacity of Vikram was increased in order to make it able to travel toward safer landing areas to avoid a tragedy that happened to the previous mission.
Another difference between Chandrayaan 2 and 3 was the difference in the number of solar panels. Chandrayaan 2 had two solar panels while Chandrayaan 3 comprised four panels for an increased time period of necessary tools and vehicles.
The speed of Vikram Lander in Chandrayaan 3 was continuously monitored while it was on the lunar surface using a Laser Doppler Velocimeter. It sent laser beams from the earth to the surface of the moon for speed monitoring.
6. Significance of the Lunar South Pole
Everyone is aware of the fact that India has become the first country to land on the south pole of the moon but why nobody was ever successful in landing on the south pole and what is its importance? All previous missions from every country were landed in the equatorial regions because of the feasibility and convenience of landing in those places.
As compared to the equatorial, the poles are difficult to land on because the poles do not have a a clear surface. There are mountains and stones, and it is difficult to find a surface with a plain area for a lander to land. Another reason that makes it less attractive and difficult for countries to target is the lack of sunlight and extreme cold weather, up to -230 C. Apart from all these hindrances, what makes the South Pole the most desired place to land on is the evidence of water. Experts also suggest that there can be fossil records in the South Pole.
7. Chandrayaan 3 Status
After the lander and rover successfully completed their tasks, they were put to sleep on 2nd September 2023. But now, ISRO is facing challenges to revive its connection with the lander and the rover. The unresponsiveness of both the rover and the lander is a serious concern. There is not Chandrayaan 3 update from the rover or the lander till today.
Although there is no Chandrayaan 3 update now, it completed the tasks it was sent for and had conveyed a wide range of useful information.
Chandrayaan 3 was a remarkable success of ISRO that shaped the future of space exploration and has drawn a path for future endeavours. This mission has provided an ample amount of useful information that can be used for smooth and seamless future lunar missions.
11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. When was Chandrayaan 3 launched?
Chandrayaan 3 launched successfully from SDSC, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on14th July 2023 at 14:35 hours (IST).
2. What is the purpose of Chandrayaan 3?
The primary objectives of Chandrayaan 3 include landing a rover on the lunar surface, studying the Moon’s topography, mineralogy, and exosphere, and exploring the presence of water ice.
3. What are the scientific experiments and payloads carried by Chandrayaan 3?
Chandrayaan 3 carries a suite of instruments to analyze the lunar soil, study the Moon’s magnetic field, search for water ice, and deploy seismometers to monitor moonquakes.
4. What are the future implications of Chandrayaan 3?
Chandrayaan 3 will contribute to future lunar missions, advancements in space exploration technology, and the eventual establishment of a sustainable human presence on the Moon.
In summary, Chandrayaan 3 signifies a significant advancement in India’s exploration of the Moon. With its ambitious objectives, advanced technologies, and international collaborations, this mission is poised to expand our knowledge of the Moon and pave the way for future scientific endeavors in space. Stay tuned for the latest updates as India embarks on another remarkable journey to the lunar surface.