India has scripted history with the successful soft landing of ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organization) third Moon mission Chandrayaan-3’s Lander Module (LM), making it the fourth country to do so, and first to reach the uncharted lunar south pole. Chandrayaan-3’s mission has been on a journey to the moon since its launch on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The three mission phases are: earth-centric phase; lunar transfer phase; and moon-centric phase.
What Chandrayaan-3 Comprises of:
Chandrayaan-3’s Lander (Vikram) has a Rover (Pragyan) inside it with an objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for inter-planetary missions. The Lander has 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. The Lander and the Rover have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface. The main function of the Propulsion Module (PM) is to carry the Lander Module (LM) from launch vehicle injection till final lunar 100 km circular polar orbit and separate the LM from PM. Apart from this, the Propulsion Module also has one scientific payload as a value addition which will be operated post separation of the Lander Module.
The Mission Objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are:
To demonstrate safe and soft landing on lunar surface
To demonstrate Rover roving on the moon
To conduct in-situ scientific experiments. The Chandrayaan-3 is expected to remain functional for two weeks, running a series of experiments including a spectrometer analysis of the mineral composition of the lunar surface.
According to ISRO, the Rover will move at a speed of 1cm per second and with each step it will also leave the imprint of ISRO’s logo and emblem embossed on its six wheels on the moon’s surface. This is truly India’s moment in the sky!