ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Chandrayaan-3 set for launch in August


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Chandrayaan-3

Mains level: Not Much

ISRO plans to execute the Chandrayaan-3 mission in August this year.

What is Chandrayaan-3 Mission?

  • The Chandrayaan-3 mission is a follow-up of Chandrayaan-2 of July 2019, which aimed to land a rover on the lunar South Pole.

Chandrayaan-2: A quick recap

  • Chandrayaan-2 consisted of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover, all equipped with scientific instruments to study the moon.
  • The Orbiter would watch the moon from a 100-km orbit, while the Lander and Rover modules were to be separated to make a soft landing on the moon’s surface.
  • ISRO had named the Lander module as Vikram, after Vikram Sarabhai, the pioneer of India’s space programme, and the Rover module as Pragyaan, meaning wisdom.

Utility of the Orbiter

  • The Orbiter part of the mission has been functioning normally. It is carrying eight instruments.
  • Each of these instruments has produced a handsome amount of data that sheds new light on the moon and offers insights that could be used in further exploration.

Inception of Chandrayaan 3

  • The subsequent failure of the Vikram lander led to the pursuit of another mission to demonstrate the landing capabilities needed for the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission proposed in partnership with Japan for 2024.

Its design

  • The lander for Chandrayaan-3 will have only four throttle-able engines.
  • Unlike Vikram on Chandrayaan-2 which had five 800N engines with a fifth one being centrally mounted with a fixed thrust.
  • Additionally, the Chandrayaan-3 lander will be equipped with a Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV).

Back2Basics: Chandrayaan-1 Mission

  • The Chandrayaan-1 mission was launched in October 2008 was ISRO’s first exploratory mission to the moon, in fact to any heavenly body in space.
  • The mission was designed to just orbit around the moon and make observations with the help of the instruments onboard.
  • The closest that Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft came to the moon was in an orbit 100 km from its surface.


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