India’s Moon mission Chandrayaan-3, which entered the exclusive club of four and became the first nation to land on the unexplored surface on Wednesday at 6.04 p.m., marked a significant step forward for its space programme.
India became only the fourth nation to accomplish this accomplishment and the first to reach the unexplored south pole of Earth’s only natural satellite when its ambitious Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module (LM) splashed down on the lunar surface on Wednesday.
Less than a week after a similar Russian lander crashed, India’s LM, which included the lander (Vikram) and the 26kg rover (Pragyan), successfully achieved a soft touchdown near the south pole region of the Moon at 6:04 p.m.
Following the United States, China, and the former Soviet Union, India has become the fourth country to achieve expertise in the art of gently landing on the moon’s surface. This accomplishment comes from their successful moon landing on their second try within a span of four years.
A follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-2, Chandrayaan-3’s goals include wandering on the moon, demonstrating safe and soft landings, and conducting in-situ scientific experiments.
Chandrayaan-2 encountered a setback on September 7, 2019, when its lunar module, named “Vikram,” crashed into the moon’s surface just before landing due to issues with its braking system. This event followed the inaugural Chandrayaan mission in 2008.
The LaunchLaunchle Mark-III (LVM-3) rocket carrying the Rs 600 crore Chandrayaan-3 mission lifted off on July 14 on a 41-day journey to a location close to the lunar south pole.
Days had passed since Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft, which was spinning out of control, crashed onto the Moon.
The 1,752 kg combined mass of the lander and the six-wheeled rover is intended for operation for one lunar day (about 14 days on Earth). The four-legged lander was equipped with a variety of sensors, including an accelerometer, altimeters, Doppler velocimeter, inclinometer, touchdown sensor, and a number of cameras for obstacle avoidance and positional awareness.
The rover is transported by the lander in a compartment that has a ramp for surface deployment.
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