THE MISSION Chandrayan -3

THE MISSION Chandrayan -3

India planned to soft-land on the moon as part of its goal. India made its second attempt at a moon landing. A mechanical malfunction caused the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 to crash onto the moon’s surface in 2019.  

The Chandrayaan-3’s equipment was modified by scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after they learned from the crash-landing of Chandrayaan-2. 

With Chandrayaan-3’s gentle landing on the moon, India became the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, following the US, China, and the Soviet Union. It’s noteworthy that Russia tried a lunar landing on August 20, 2023. Still, the Luna-25 spacecraft went out of control and struck the lunar surface.

One of the main goals of Chandrayaan-3 was to find water. Scientists believe that ice might exist in the permanently shadowed craters near the moon’s south pole, which could be crucial for future human habitation. Examining the lunar surface and conducting experiments, the Pragyan rover was called after the Sanskrit word for “wisdom” when it was deployed. 

The two main parts of the spacecraft LVM3 are the propulsion module and the lander rover module. The propulsion module’s primary job is to transport the cargo of the lander and rover to the moon. 

Space is a hostile environment due to ionizing radiation and high vacuum. Space missions require meticulous planning, design, testing, analysis, and assessment at every stage of development since there are no possibilities for in-situ repairs. The sensors required to determine the satellite’s orientation in orbit, including as velocimeters and sun, star, and laser-based altimeters, were provided by the Laboratory for Electro-optics Systems (LEOS). 

Lander payloads: The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) measures the seismic activity surrounding the landing site; the Langmuir Probe (LP) estimates the plasma density and its fluctuations; and Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) measures the temperature and thermal conductivity. 

Rover payloads: The laser-induced breakdown spectrum (LIBS) and the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) are used to determine the elemental composition of the area around the landing site.

This lander is called Vikram, and the rover is dubbed Pragyan, the same as in Chandrayaan-2. The lander separates from the propulsion module as soon as it approaches the moon and gently touches down on its surface. The rover will crawl across the moon’s surface to carry out studies, and it is outfitted with a number of instruments. These include investigating subsurface heat conduction, examining the moon’s soil, and keeping an eye out for lunar earthquakes. 

The following are Chandrayaan-3’s mission objectives: 

  • To demonstrate a safe and delicate landing on the moon.
  • In order to showcase Wandering Rover on the moon and
  • To conduct in-situ scientific experiments.

Nevertheless, the lunar night forced the mission’s conclusion. This is a phase that lasts around 14 Earth days, or one lunar day, during which the moon’s surface is not exposed to the sun. The area gets dark during this period, making it hard for the solar-powered Pragyan rover to function.

THE MISSION Chandrayan -3
THE MISSION Chandrayan -3

The moon’s rotation, which lasts for around 28 days on Earth, causes the lunar night. Similar to how Earth’s tilt causes it to have longer summer days and shorter winter days, the moon rotates with half of its surface in direct sunlight and the other half in complete darkness.

Chandrayaan-3 was a major success for India. The project has garnered international attention as well because of the possible riches in the moon’s South Pole area, which several nations and corporate enterprises are eager to explore.

Author: Disha CHAUHAN

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