As we anticipate the launch of Chandrayaan-3, let's explore the history and importance of this mission in India's space exploration. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is set to launch Chandrayaan-3, its ambitious lunar mission, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The launch is scheduled for July 14 at 2:35 PM, with the lander expected to touch down on the lunar surface in late August.
Chandrayaan-3 is India's third lunar mission, and its development has been a four-year effort by ISRO. To understand its significance, let's look back at its predecessors, Chandrayaan-2 and Chandrayaan-1.
Chandrayaan-2, launched on July 22, 2019, was a crucial stepping stone for the current mission. The spacecraft consisted of an orbiter, a lander named Vikram, and a rover called Pragyan. The objective was to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface and conduct scientific experiments. Despite the lander's hard landing and the rover's destruction, the orbiter successfully entered the lunar orbit and will play a vital role in Chandrayaan-3.
Chandrayaan-2 was notable for being India's first lunar mission led by women scientists, with Muthayya Vanitha as the project director and Ritu Karidhal as the mission director.
Before Chandrayaan-2, there was Chandrayaan-1, India's maiden moon mission launched on October 22, 2008. The mission confirmed the presence of water on the Moon, marking a significant discovery. Although communication with the spacecraft was lost, Chandrayaan-1 laid the foundation for India's future space endeavors.
Chandrayaan-3 aims to build upon the accomplishments of Chandrayaan-2. Its primary goal is a soft landing on the Moon, showcasing India's capabilities for safe landing and roving. Only three countries, the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China, have achieved successful moon landings. Chandrayaan-3 also plans to demonstrate rover capabilities and conduct scientific experiments, focusing on the thermophysical properties of the Moon.
ISRO has learned from the challenges faced during Chandrayaan-2 and taken measures to ensure the success of Chandrayaan-3. Valuable data collected during the previous mission has been extensively analyzed, simulated, and used to identify the reasons behind the unsuccessful landing. Corrective actions have been implemented to address these issues, increasing the mission's chances of success.
Former ISRO chairman K. Sivan acknowledged the lessons learned from Chandrayaan-2 and emphasized the meticulous work conducted over the past four years. The preparations for Chandrayaan-3 have been improved based on these findings and corrective actions.
In conclusion, Chandrayaan-3 represents a significant milestone in India's space exploration journey. Building upon the achievements and lessons learned from Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2, this mission propels India's scientific and technological advancements to new heights. With each mission, India demonstrates its commitment to exploring the unknown, unraveling the mysteries of the Moon, and leaving an indelible mark on the pages of space history.