• 14 June 2024

Chandraayan-3: Exploring Lunar Mysteries with Cutting-Edge Technology: India’s Next Leap to the Moon and Beyond

Jul 14, 2023

Learn about Chandraayan-3’s incredible voyage as it sets out on a ground-breaking mission to solve lunar mysteries and push the limits of space exploration. Chandraayan-3 is India’s most recent lunar exploration mission. As Chandraayan-3 establishes a new standard for space exploration and scientific discoveries on the Moon and beyond, come see cutting-edge technology in action

Key Highlights of Chandrayaan-3:

  • Chandrayaan-3 is India’s next lunar mission after the unsuccessful Chandrayaan-2.
  • It aims to land safely on the moon’s surface and explore it with a lander and rover.
  • The launch is scheduled for July 14, 2023, from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The spacecraft will be launched by the GSLV Mark 3 rocket.
  • Chandrayaan-3 has undergone modifications to improve reliability.
  • The lander, Vikram, is named after Vikram Sarabhai and carries more fuel for a successful landing.
  • The craft consists of the lander, rover Pragyan, and a propulsion module, with a total weight of 3,900 kg.
  • Once on the moon, the rover will be deployed to explore the lunar surface for about 14 Earth days.
  • The mission includes scientific instruments to study moonquakes, heat transfer, plasma environment, and gravitational interaction.
  • Chandrayaan-3 is designed with a failure-based approach to ensure a successful landing even if certain components fail.
  • The launch is a significant achievement for India and its space program.
  • Other countries that have attempted lunar landings include the USSR, US, China, and Israel.

Chandrayaan-3

India launched its Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh. The mission aims to achieve a soft landing on the moon’s south pole, making India the fourth nation to accomplish this feat after the U.S., Russia, and China. Chandrayaan-3 is India’s second attempt following the unsuccessful landing of Chandrayaan-2’s lander in 2019. The spacecraft consists of a lander and rover, with the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter still operational. The mission holds significant national pride and is viewed as a testament to India’s scientific excellence. The estimated cost of the Chandrayaan-3 project is around $75 million (₹ 6.1 billion).


Chandrayaan-3 vs. Chandrayaan-2 

Chandrayaan-3 is a Replication of Chandrayaan-2 with Notable Changes.

It closely resembles its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2, but with significant modifications. Unlike Chandrayaan-2, Chandrayaan-3 will not include an orbiter carrying eight functioning instruments. The mission aims to achieve a soft landing on the moon’s surface using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III).

Comparison between Chandrayaan-1,2 &3

Lessons Learned from Chandrayaan-2

The Chandrayaan-2 mission encountered challenges during its final descent, resulting in the crash of the lander, Vikram. However, the orbiter successfully entered its intended orbit, fulfilling 90 to 95 percent of the mission objectives. Furthermore, the failures of Chandrayaan-2 served as valuable learning experiences for ISRO, leading to several improvements in Chandrayaan-3.

1. Enhanced Software and Hardware Components

ISRO engineers and scientists have made significant enhancements to the software and hardware components of Chandrayaan-3. The lander thrusters, responsible for the critical final phase of soft landing, have been modified to ensure better maneuverability and control. The lander now features four thruster engines, stronger legs, extended solar panels, and increased fuel capacity.

2. SHAPE Payload

Chandrayaan-3 will carry a payload called Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE), which was absent in Chandrayaan-2. SHAPE aims to collect data on the polarization of light reflected by Earth. This data will assist scientists in the search for other planets with similar light signatures.

 3. Laser Doppler Velocity Meter:
A new sensor called the laser Doppler velocity meter has been incorporated into Chandrayaan-3’s lander. This sensor utilizes laser technology to measure different components of velocity, enhancing the accuracy of measurements and providing backup in case of any issues.

4. Improved Landing Velocity and Fuel Capacity:
Chandrayaan-3’s lander has undergone improvements to increase landing resilience. Furthermore, the team increased the landing velocity from 2m/second to 3m/second, enabling the lander to handle suboptimal conditions effectively. They added more fuel to better manage any disruptions and enhance the capacity to recover if necessary

5. Lander Hazard Detection and Avoidance Cameras:

Chandrayaan-3’s lander has equipped two “lander hazard detection and avoidance cameras” to aid coordination with the orbiter and mission control during the landing process. These cameras play a crucial role in identifying potential hazards and ensuring a safer descent to the lunar surface.

Extensive Testing and Preparations:
Extensive testing has been conducted for Chandrayaan-3, surpassing the testing done for Chandrayaan-2.

Generally, the preparations involved autonomous flights, helicopter flights, simulated landings using cranes, drop tests, and software simulations to assess potential failures and recovery options.

 

Launching of Chandrayaan-3

LVM3 M4/Chandrayaan-3 Mission:
LVM3 M4 vehicle🚀 successfully launched Chandrayaan-3🛰️ into orbit.

— ISRO (@isro) July 14, 2023

We include several frequently asked questions below:

 Q. Why did they target the Lunar South Pole for exploration?

The Lunar South Pole is especially interesting because the lunar surface area that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole. Generally, under regions that are always under shade, there may be a chance that there is water nearby. In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System.

 Q. What happened to Chandrayaan-2?

1. Chandrayaan-2 mission, launched in 2019, had a hard landing on the dark side of the Moon.
2. Moreover, the lander and rover malfunctioned and crash-landed, resulting in their destruction.
3. Despite the setback, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter remains active and continues to orbit the Moon.
4. The mission’s primary objective was to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover.
5. Although the lander and rover didn’t achieve their goals, the orbiter and other instruments have provided valuable data about the Moon and its environment over the past two years.

 Q. What is the gathering kind of data?

1. Chandrayaan-2 mission has provided the most precise information to date about the presence of water molecules on the Moon.

2. First-time discoveries of minor elements like sodium, manganese, and chromium provide new perspectives on planetary differentiation and magmatic history.

3. For instance, the mission has observed a large number of microflares outside active regions, contributing to the understanding of solar corona heating.

4. Exploration of permanently shadowed regions, craters, and boulders beneath the lunar regolith has provided data for identifying future landing and drilling sites.

5. Generally, The Lunar South Pole, targeted for exploration, offers a larger surface area in shadow, making it significant for research.

6. Also, the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas and the cold traps of craters at the Lunar South Pole are of great scientific importance.

7. Despite the challenges faced during the mission, the orbiter component remains active and continues to orbit the Moon.

8. Furthermore, Chandrayaan-2 has expanded our understanding of the Moon’s environment, resources, and scientific significance.

Also read https://thelogicalpie.com/index.php/2023/07/17/indias-demonetization/

 

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