Chandrayaan-3: India's ambitious lunar mission to explore the south pole

Chandrayaan-3: India's ambitious lunar mission to explore the south pole

India is on its way to make history with its third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, which aims to land near the Moon's south pole, a region that has not been explored by any other country. The mission, which consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, was launched on 14 July 2023 from Sriharikota space centre and is expected to reach the lunar surface on 23 August 2023. ⁴²

Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-up of Chandrayaan-2, which was launched in July 2019 but failed to achieve a soft landing due to a glitch in the braking system. The orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, however, continues to orbit and study the Moon.  

The main objective of Chandrayaan-3 is to demonstrate India's capability of soft landing on the Moon and to conduct scientific experiments using the rover. The rover will carry instruments to measure the lunar soil, temperature, radiation and seismic activity. The lander will also carry cameras and sensors to study the landing site and communicate with the orbiter and the Earth.  

The mission is also expected to shed light on the presence and distribution of water ice on the lunar south pole, which could be a valuable resource for future human exploration. The south pole is also of interest because it receives more sunlight than other regions of the Moon, making it more suitable for solar power generation.  

Chandrayaan-3 is a testament to India's growing space ambitions and achievements. It is part of the Chandrayaan programme, which began in 2008 with India's first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, which discovered evidence of water molecules on the Moon.  India is also planning to launch its first human spaceflight programme, Gaganyaan, by 2024 and a solar research mission, Aditya-L1, by 2025. 

The mission has received support from various international agencies, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), which has provided tracking services for the spacecraft. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed Chandrayaan-3 as "a new chapter in India's space odyssey" and congratulated the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for their "relentless dedication".  

Chandrayaan-3 has also inspired millions of Indians and people around the world with its bold vision and innovation. The spacecraft was recently spotted by a Polish telescope in deep space, generating excitement among space enthusiasts. ¹ As Chandrayaan-3 approaches its final destination, it will be watched with anticipation and hope by everyone who dreams of exploring the mysteries of the Moon.


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