India Shoots Another Shot at Moon Landing with Chandrayaan-3

India has launched a new mission aimed at achieving a soft landing on the moon, marking the country’s second attempt to reach the celestial body. The lunar module, named Chandrayaan-3, meaning “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota amid scorching mid-afternoon temperatures.

The mission, valued at $75 million (6.15 billion rupees), is a significant milestone for India. In 2019, the Chandrayaan-2 successfully deployed a lunar orbiter but encountered a software malfunction moments before touchdown, resulting in failure. However, India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008, played a vital role in confirming the presence of frozen water deposits on the moon.

If the Chandrayaan-3 mission accomplishes a successful landing, India will join the exclusive ranks of the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China as the only nations to achieve this feat. Additionally, it will be the first expedition to explore the uncharted south pole of the moon.

This endeavor aligns with India’s aspirations to establish itself as a space power amid growing global competition. The nation is also set to embark on its first human space mission in the coming year. 

Prime Minister Modi expressed his enthusiasm for the mission, tweeting, “Chandrayaan-3 scripts a new chapter in India’s space odyssey. It soars high, elevating the dreams and ambitions of every Indian.”

S. Somanath, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), confirmed the successful launch, stating that Chandrayaan-3 had entered a precise orbit around the Earth. He praised the team’s efforts in rectifying the issues faced during the previous mission, emphasizing the importance of a successful soft landing for subsequent experiments.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission aims to deploy a rover with six wheels, which will traverse the moon’s surface under the guidance of commands from Earth. Multiple cameras on the lander will capture the rover’s movements, while the rover itself will capture images of the lunar landscape. The mission’s primary objectives, according to Jitendra Singh, India’s minister for science and technology, include demonstrating India’s ability to safely land, deploying and navigating the rover, and conducting scientific experiments.

The Indian team is targeting a potential landing on the moon by the last week of August, and the rover, if successful, is estimated to operate on the surface for at least 14 days.

This launch comes after the failure of Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, the same year that China successfully landed a probe on the far side of the moon. Chandrayaan-1, which launched in 2008, orbited the moon. It was able to confirm the presence of water molecules in the lunar soil and provided high-resolution spectral data on lunar mineralogy.

Information for this story was found via The Guardian, CNN, Byju, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply