On August 23, 2023, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, successfully landed on the South Pole of the Moon, making India the fourth nation in the world to achieve the feat. The South Pole of the Moon has emerged as a point of interest for exploration due to the recent discoveries of traces of water ice or frozen water in this lunar region. With the achievement made by Chandrayaan-3, after travelling about 3.84 lakh km for over 40 days, India also became the fourth nation to make a soft landing on the moon after the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China. Chandrayaan-3 was launched on July 14, 2023, from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The spacecraft landed on the lunar surface at around 6:05 pm on August 23.
The emotion and excitement run extensively as the whole world witnessed the remarkable moment, followed by celebrating along with India and the ISRO officials involved in the Chandrayaan-3 mission. The anxiety was clearly visible as the ISRO officials led by ISRO Chairman, S Somanath waited for the moment at the Mission Operations Complex at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who is currently participating in the BRICS Summit watched the landing live from Johannesburg, believes Chandrayaan-3’s triumph mirrors the aspirations and capabilities of 140 crore Indians. To new horizons and beyond! The PM quotes, “Usually we would say, Chanda Maama Door Ke (Moon is far) but the future generation will say Chandra Maama Tour Ke (Moon is for a tour). Our mission is based on the same human-centric approach. This success belongs to humanity. I am confident all countries in the world are capable of achieving such feats.” On the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission, the 14th Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Bill Nelson posted on X (formerly Twitter), “We’re glad to be your partner on this mission!”
With the congratulations and celebrations pouring in from around the globe, Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has gained much attention from those wanting to gain more knowledge on its speciality and features. Chandrayaan-3 is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) mission and the spacecraft comprises a propulsion module (weighing 2,148 kg), a lander (1,723.89 kg) and a rover (26 kg). The ISRO explains that Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. It consists of Lander and Rover configuration. Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous Lander module (LM), Propulsion module (PM) and a Rover with an objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for Inter planetary missions. According to ISRO the mission objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are to demonstrate Safe and Soft Landing on Lunar Surface; to demonstrate Rover roving on the moon and; to conduct in-situ scientific experiments. It also explains that to achieve the mission objectives, several advanced technologies are present in Lander. According to the former Chairman of ISRO, K Sivan, Chandrayaan-3 cost the nation only Rs 615 crore. The lander, rover, and propulsion cost around Rs 215 crore and the launch costs around Rs 365 crore. The mission life of the lander and the rover is 1 Lunar day or 14 Earth days.
The history made by Chandrayaan-3 by arriving at the unexplored South Pole of the moon has only strengthened India’s standing as a space power, and indeed the Country’s PM has rightly commented that, “This moment is unforgettable. It is phenomenal. This is a victory cry of a new India.”
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