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Chandhrayaan 3

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Bharathi Pradeep
Bharathi Pradeep
Editor at Bharathi covers topics on Competitive exams, How To guides, Current exams, Current Affairs, Study Materials, etc. Follow her on social media using the links below.

10 Amazing Facts about ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3

1. Chandrayaan-3 is the next mission after Chandrayaan-2, which aims to land safely and explore the moon’s surface. It consists of a lander and rover that will be launched into space by a rocket called LVM3 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. Chadrayaan-2, which was launched in 2019, consisted of an orbiter, a lander, and the Pragyan rover. Unfortunately, because of a software glitch, the craft lost all communications just minutes before it was supposed to land; it deviated from its intended trajectory and crashed. 

ISRO’s Chandrayaan- 3 Details

2. The GSLV Mark 3 heavy-lift launch vehicle, also known as the Bahubali rocket, will support the moon lander Vikram. The GSLV, now known as Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LM-3), is 43.5 metres tall. The spacecraft is scheduled to touch down on the moon on August 23 after a voyage that will last more than 40 days.

3. India has conducted successful lunar missions before. In 2008, ISRO launched Chadrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, which was a major success and whose findings shocked the whole world. It was during this mission that the presence of water molecules was discovered on the surface of the moon. 

4. Chandrayaan-3 launched at 2:35 PM IST on July 14, 2023, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The spacecraft was launched by the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3), and carries a lander and a rover. After landing on the surface in August, the rover will then deploy and explore the lunar surface. The craft is set to land on the South Pole of the Moon, where Chandrayaan-1 discovered the presence of water molecules.

5. The Chandrayaan-3 has undergone modifications by ISRO to make it more reliable than its predecessor. The craft consists of the lander Vikram, which is named after Vikram Sarabhai, the rover Pragyan, and a propulsion module. The Vikram Lander weighs 1,752 kilograms, around 280 kilograms heavier than its previous version. The increased weight is mainly due to extra precautions taken by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

6. The craft collectively weighs 3,900 kg. The propulsion module weighs 2,148 kg, and the lander and the rover weigh 1,752 kg. This total weight is close to the maximum capacity of the GSLV Mk III, which is India’s strongest rocket. Once in space, the orbiter will carry Vikram towards the moon. It will orbit the moon and gradually adjust its path to enter a circular polar orbit 100 kilometres above the moon’s surface.

7. Once Chandrayaan-3 safely lands on the moon, the Pragyan rover will be deployed to explore. The rover will be released from Vikram using a ramp. This six-wheeled rover is powered by solar energy and carries two spectrometers to study the composition of the Moon’s surface. It will move around the landing area for about 14 Earth days, which is roughly equivalent to one lunar day of sunlight.

8. Vikram Lander is equipped with four scientific instruments as well. The first instrument is a seismometer designed to detect moonquakes, while the second one studies how heat moves through the lunar surface. The third aims to understand the plasma environment around the moon, and the fourth is a retroreflector to help understand the gravitational interaction between the Moon and the planet. 

9. ISRO’s Chairman, Sreedhara P. Somanath, says that instead of a success-based design, they opted for a failure-based design for Chandrayaan-3. It is carefully designed to ensure a successful landing even in the event of certain components failing. Various scenarios, such as sensor failure, engine failure, algorithm failure, and calculation failure, were considered, and measures were developed to address each of them. 

10. According to NASA, the USSR, the US, China, and Israel are the only nations in the world to have attempted to land on the Moon. The USSR has had 12 unsuccessful attempts; however, it has succeeded twice. Out of eight landing missions, the US has succeeded in five of them. China has attempted two landing missions so far, and both of them were successful. Israel’s first and only attempt failed. India’s previous two lunar missions are counted as orbiters and not landing missions. 

Mystery of Moons South Pole

The matter of gold in the southern part of the moon continues to be a challenging subject. No country on Earth has yet reached the southern part of the moon. Not even countries like NASA, Europe, and China have been able to reach the southern part of the moon. The efforts of countries that will reach the southern part of the moon also persistently encounter failure. Even attempting to approach the southern pole of the moon’s surface… space programs are continuously facing setbacks and failures.

India’s Chandrayaan-2 and Russia’s Luna 25 missions attempted to explore the southern pole of the moon and both faced setbacks. Russia’s Luna 25, as well as India’s Chandrayaan-2, encountered failures when trying to land on the southern part of the moon’s surface. This marks Russia’s first exploration program towards the moon in the past 50 years. The lunar lander of Luna 25 aims to reduce the altitude over the lunar surface and encountered a crash during descent.

No Sunlight: In the craters of the moon’s southern hemisphere, sunlight doesn’t reach for about 2 billion years. Only the uppermost elevations receive sunlight. This is because the lunar south pole is tilted at 88.5 degrees. As a result, the sun’s light doesn’t reach the southern part of the moon. Due to this, the southern part of the moon remains a mystery, yet to be illuminated.

Expectations of Chandrayan 2

Here, the temperature reaches as low as minus 230 degrees Celsius. These are all incredibly challenging, icy, enigmatic, and profoundly mysterious terrains. Russia’s attempt to reach this region faced failure. The Chandrayaan-2 mission also encountered failure. This region, often dubbed the “cradle of science,” is the destination for Chandrayaan-3, which is expected to report the first success tomorrow.

Future Prospects

  • Human Moon Missions Race: India, the US, and China are actively pursuing human moon missions after India’s Chandrayaan-1’s water molecule discovery in 2008.
  • Progress and Challenges: While India has made strides, countries like the US and China have achieved landing and sample return missions. India’s efforts to develop heavier launch vehicles for more ambitious missions continue.

What is Lunar Dawn?

  • Lunar dawn is the period on the Moon when the Sun is about to rise over the lunar horizon, resulting in the gradual illumination of the lunar surface, similar to Earth’s sunrise.
  • During lunar dawn, the Moon’s surface transitions from darkness to light as the Sun’s rays gradually touch and illuminate different areas.
  • It occurs due to the Moon’s rotation on its axis, causing changing lighting conditions as it orbits the Earth.
  • Unlike Earth, the Moon lacks a significant atmosphere, resulting in distinct lighting, sharp shadows, and no diffusion of sunlight.
  • Astronauts on lunar missions, like the Apollo missions, have observed the lunar dawn first-hand, providing unique perspectives on the Moon’s surface.

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Bharathi Pradeep
Bharathi Pradeep
Editor at Bharathi covers topics on Competitive exams, How To guides, Current exams, Current Affairs, Study Materials, etc. Follow her on social media using the links below.
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