Published on Thursday 27 July 2023 at 1: 27 pm. Image Courtesy: Google
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission has marked a significant milestone in the country’s space exploration endeavours, firmly establishing India’s position as a space-faring nation. Following the triumph of Chandrayaan-2, which was a partial success with the orbiter functioning as intended, but the lander Vikram encountering issues during its descent, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) embarked on the Chandrayaan-3 mission with renewed determination to achieve a successful landing on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3, the third mission in India’s Chandrayaan series, was launched with a clear set of objectives:
Successful Soft Landing: The primary aim of Chandrayaan-3 was to successfully achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface, particularly in the region where Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander had faced challenges.
Technology Validation: The mission intended to validate and demonstrate the technology required for a soft landing, thereby enhancing India’s capabilities in lunar exploration.
Scientific Research: Chandrayaan-3 aimed to conduct scientific experiments and observations on the lunar surface using advanced instruments to gain a deeper understanding of the Moon’s geology, composition, and environment.
Chandrayaan-3 was meticulously planned and executed by ISRO’s team of experts and scientists. Learning from the experiences and data gathered from Chandrayaan-2, the mission’s design was optimised to overcome the challenges faced during the earlier mission.
Launch and Lunar Orbit Insertion: The spacecraft, comprising an orbiter and a lander, was launched using India’s trusted GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle. The spacecraft traveled the distance to the Moon and was inserted into a precise lunar orbit, ensuring a smooth approach towards the landing site.
Soft Landing on the Moon: The most critical phase of the mission was the soft landing of the lander on the lunar surface. This phase required utmost precision and control, as the spacecraft navigated through the Moon’s thin atmosphere and manoeuvred its descent. Chandrayaan-3’s lander, equipped with upgraded landing technology, successfully touched down on the Moon, achieving the mission’s primary objective.
Scientific Discoveries: Upon touchdown, the lander immediately initiated scientific experiments, conducting surface analysis, and collecting vital data. The orbiter, meanwhile, continued its mission, orbiting the Moon and transmitting valuable data back to Earth.
Public Engagement and International Collaboration
Chandrayaan-3’s success garnered widespread public interest and pride in India’s scientific achievements. The mission inspired and engaged millions of young minds, fostering an interest in space science and exploration.
Moreover, Chandrayaan-3 strengthened India’s position in the international space community. ISRO collaborated with various international space agencies, sharing knowledge and resources, which further enriched the scientific value of the mission.
Impact and Future Missions
The success of Chandrayaan-3 has catapulted India’s space program to greater heights. It has bolstered ISRO’s confidence and capabilities, making India a significant player in the global space race. The mission’s scientific findings have already started to unveil new insights about the Moon’s geology, helping scientists to piece together the puzzle of our celestial neighbor’s history and evolution.
Chandrayaan-3’s success has also set the stage for future lunar missions, with ISRO planning to undertake more ambitious projects, including crewed missions and further exploration of the Moon and beyond. Chandrayaan-3 stands as a shining example of India’s prowess in space exploration. It showcases ISRO’s commitment to pushing boundaries, overcoming challenges, and expanding humanity’s understanding of the cosmos. With the success of Chandrayaan-3, India has once again demonstrated its potential to make remarkable contributions to the field of space science, paving the way for a bright and exciting future in lunar exploration.