Launching India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission, a significant step towards achieving a controlled landing on the Moon, is set to make the country the fourth in the world to accomplish this feat. Departing from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, the Chandrayaan-3, meaning “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, is scheduled for liftoff at 2:30 p.m. local time (5:00AND.).
Second Attempt for India
Following the unsuccessful soft-landing attempt with Chandrayaan-2 in 2019, India is making its second endeavor. Its first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, successfully orbited the moon in 2008 before deliberately landing on its surface.
Components and Objectives of Chandrayaan-3 Mission
Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Chandrayaan-3 comprises a lander, a propulsion module, and a rover. The primary goals are to achieve a safe lunar landing, gather valuable data, and conduct scientific experiments to enhance our understanding of the moon’s composition.
Joining an Exclusive Club
Only the United States, Russia, and China have managed to achieve the challenging feat of landing spacecraft on the lunar surface.
Ambitious South Pole Landing
Indian engineers have dedicated years to this mission, aiming to successfully land Chandrayaan-3 in the challenging terrain of the unexplored South Pole region of the moon.
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Previous Lunar Missions and India’s Determination
Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden lunar mission in 2008, made the significant discovery of water molecules on the lunar surface. Although Chandrayaan-2’s rover crashed during landing in 2019, the mission successfully entered lunar orbit. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended the engineers involved in the mission, expressing unwavering commitment to the country’s space program and aspirations.
Investment in Chandrayaan-3 Mission
India has allocated approximately $75 million towards the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
A Rich Legacy in Space Exploration
India’s space program dates back more than six decades, originating from a newly independent and impoverished nation. India has made significant progress. Today, as the world’s most populous nation and the fifth-largest economy, India benefits from a thriving population, innovation, and technological advancements.
India’s Space Program Under Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sees India’s space program as a symbol of the nation’s increasing global significance. In 2014, India became the first Asian country to reach Mars. They are successfully launching the Mangalyaan probe at a cost of $74 million. The budget is less than the budget of Hollywood’s space thriller Gravity. India also set a record by launching 104 satellites in a single mission three years later.
In 2019, Modi announced through a rare televised speech that India had conducted an anti-satellite test. They join the elite group of four countries to achieve this feat. The same year, the former ISRO President, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, revealed plans to establish an independent space station by 2030. India’s rapid progress and innovative approach have made its space sector highly attractive to investors, drawing attention from global leaders.
International Collaborations and Beyond
Indian Prime Minister Modi’s state visit to the United States last month. They’ve done discussions with President Joe Biden included a focus on enhancing collaboration in the space economy. India’s space ambitions extend beyond the Moon and Mars, with ISRO proposing a future orbiter mission to Venus.