Sriharikota: India on Friday successfully launched its third lunar mission – ‘Chandrayaan-3’ using an LVM3-M4 rocket here. Under this campaign, a ‘soft landing’ will be attempted once again on the lunar surface. Once successful in this, India will join the club of countries like America, the former Soviet Union, and China which have achieved such a feat. ISRO Chairman S Somnath said that the ‘soft landing’ of Chandrayaan-3 is planned to be done on August 23 at 5.47 pm. At the end of the 25.30 hours countdown that began yesterday, the LVM3-M4 rocket rocketed skywards spectacularly from the second launch pad of the Space Launch Center here at the scheduled time of 2.35 p.m. today, leaving a thick plume of smoke.
This is the third lunar mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in fifteen years. According to ISRO officials, the propulsion module was successfully separated from the rocket about 16 minutes after lift-off and it circled the earth about five-six times in an elliptical circle at 170 km nearest and 36,500 km farthest point on its way to the lunar orbit. Will revolve around The LVM3-M4 rocket is the largest and heaviest in its class, which scientists call ‘Fat Boy’ or ‘Bahubali’. Thousands of spectators present to watch the launch cheered as Chandrayaan-3 took off and the scientists applauded after the successful launch.
The propulsion module along with the lander, after gaining momentum will proceed on a more than a month-long journey to reach the lunar orbit till it reaches 100 km above the lunar surface. ISRO scientists said that after reaching the desired altitude, the lander module will start descending for a ‘soft landing’ on the Moon’s south pole region. The ‘Chandra Mission’ that took off today is a follow-up mission to 2019’s ‘Chandrayaan-2’. In this third lunar mission of India too, space scientists aim for a ‘soft landing’ of the lander on the lunar surface. The ‘soft landing’ will be the most challenging part of the mission.
In the last moments during the ‘Chandrayaan-2’ mission, the lander ‘Vikram’ was not successful in soft landing due to path deviation. If this mission is successful, India will join the club of countries like America, China, and the former Soviet Union that have achieved such a feat. After the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3, ISRO Chairman S Somnath told the Mission Control Room (MCC) that the rocket has placed Chandrayaan-3 in the correct orbit. He said, “Congratulations, India. Chandrayaan-3 has started its journey toward the Moon. Our dear LVM-3 has already placed Chandrayaan-3 in a precise orbit around the Earth and let us wish Chandrayaan-3 all the best for the process of further orbit raising and its journey towards the Moon in the days to come Express.”
Somnath said that the ‘soft landing’ of Chandrayaan-3 is planned to be done on August 23 at 5.47 pm. Mission Director S Mohan Kumar said that the LVM-3 rocket has once again proved to be the most reliable heavy launch vehicle of ISRO. “We are in the process of increasing the launch frequency of this vehicle keeping in view the national requirements as well as satellite demands,” he added.
Project director P Veeramuthuvel said all parameters of the spacecraft, including power generation in the propulsion module and the lander module, are normal. Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh termed today’s launch as a proud moment for India. Appreciating the ISRO team for making India proud, he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that he has made it possible by opening the doors of Sriharikota and enabling India’s space sector. He said that the Prime Minister had recently said that there is no limit to success and I think Chandrayaan has crossed the sky’s limit to explore the unknown horizons of the universe.
Appreciating the late Vikram Sarabhai, who is called the father of India’s space program, Singh said that today is also the day of confirmation of his dreams. He said this day is a sign of the dream that Vikram Sarabhai saw six decades ago. He may have lacked resources, but he never lacked confidence.
The minister said Sarabhai and his team had faith in themselves, India’s potential, and its prowess. Singh and several former ISRO chiefs were present to witness the launch. Earlier Chandrayaan-1 was executed in 2008 and Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019. Like last time, this time also the South Pole region of the Moon has been selected for exploration because the South Pole of the Moon is much bigger than the North Pole. There may be a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. The LVM3M4 rocket was formerly known as GSLVMK3.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission comprising an indigenous propulsion module, a lander module, and a rover aims to develop and demonstrate new technologies required for inter-planetary missions. After the ‘soft landing’ of the lander, the rover will come out from inside it and will walk on the lunar surface and carry out exploration work with the help of its instrument-APXS-alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.