Chandrayaan-3: India's Mission to Explore the Moon
Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar mission prepared by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to explore and study the moon. It will feature a lander and a rover, similar to Chandrayaan-2, but without an orbiter.
This mission serves as the next step after Chandrayaan-2, which faced a setback during its soft landing attempt due to a malfunction in the guidance software at the last moment, after successfully entering the lunar orbit. To make another attempt at a soft landing, the proposal for this new lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, was put forward.
The launch of Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled for July 14, 2023, at 2:35 PM Indian Standard Time from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. #proudlyindian
Chandrayaan-3 History ?
In the second phase of the Chandrayaan program to demonstrate the capability of soft landing on the moon, ISRO launched Chandrayaan-2 on a launch vehicle called Mark-3 (LVM-3) with an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. The lander was intended to deploy the Pragyan rover on the lunar surface in September 2019. However, due to the failure of the Vikram lander, the proposed Chandrayaan-3 mission was conceptualized to demonstrate the necessary landing capabilities for the planned Chandrayaan Polar Exploration (LUPEX) mission in partnership with Japan, scheduled for 2025. During the critical flight operations of this mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) will provide support through the European Space Tracking (ESTRACK) under a contract.
Chandrayaan-3 Objectives ?
ISRO has defined three main objectives for the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which include:
1. Safely conducting a soft landing of the lander on the lunar surface.
2. Surveying the capabilities of the rover for lunar exploration.
3. Conducting scientific experiments on the lunar surface to better understand its structure and study the chemical and natural elements such as soil and water for scientific purposes.
Chandrayaan-3 Design ?
Chandrayaan-3 Propulsion Module
The propulsion module of Chandrayaan-3 will function similarly to the communication relay satellite. It will continue to propel the combined lander and rover structure until the spacecraft reaches a lunar orbit of 100 km. Additionally, the propulsion module will carry a payload called SHAPE (Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth) for studying Earth's spectral and polarimetric measurements from the lunar orbit.
Compared to the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2, which had five 800 Newton engines and a fifth definite thrust centrally mounted, the Chandrayaan-3 lander will feature only four throttleable engines. It will also incorporate improved impact legs and multiple redundancies to handle equipment failures. Instruments onboard the lander include Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) for thermal conductivity and temperature measurements, Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring lunar quakes near the landing site, and Langmuir Probe (LP) for plasma density and variations. Additionally, it will also carry a passive laser retroreflector array provided by NASA for lunar laser ranging studies.
The Pragyan rover of Chandrayaan-3 is equipped with Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) to identify the elemental composition of the lunar surface around the landing site.
In December 2019, it was reported that ISRO had requested an initial funding of ₹75 crore (approximately US$10.95 million) for the project. Out of this, ₹60 crore (approximately US$8.76 million) will be allocated for machinery, equipment, and other capital expenditures, while the remaining ₹15 crore (approximately US$2.19 million) has been requested for revenue expenses. Confirming the existence of the project, K. Sivan, the former Chairman of ISRO, stated that the cost would be approximately ₹615 crore (approximately US$89.79 million).
Chandrayaan-3 represents India's continued pursuit of space exploration and scientific research on the moon. With its planned launch, India aims to build upon the knowledge gained from previous missions and further contribute to our understanding of the lunar surface and its potential resources.
Below are the comprehensive details regarding the specifications of Chandrayaan-3.
table source : https://www.isro.gov.in/
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chandrayaan-3?
Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar mission planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to explore and study the moon. It is a follow-up to Chandrayaan-2, which faced a setback during its soft landing attempt. Chandrayaan-3 aims to successfully achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface.