From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Chandrayaan
Mains level : Chandrayaan-3 Mission
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted a crucial test for its upcoming Chandrayaan-3 mission.
What was the test?
- The test involved the high-thrust cryogenic engine, which will be used to power the rocket that carries the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft.
- The engine was tested for its endurance and performance under various conditions.
About Chandrayaan-3 Mission
- The Chandrayaan-3 mission is the third lunar exploration mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
- The mission follows the successful Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 missions, which were launched in 2008 and 2019 respectively.
- The Chandrayaan-3 mission is designed to further explore the Moon’s South Pole region and conduct various scientific experiments, including studying the lunar surface, mineralogy, and the presence of water.
Significance of the recent test
- With the successful test of the high-thrust cryogenic engine, ISRO is now one step closer to launching the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
- The mission is expected to be a significant step forward in India’s space exploration efforts and will further our understanding of the Moon and its potential for future exploration and exploitation.
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, which crash-landed.
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.
- 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 the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft came to the moon was in an orbit 100 km from its surface.
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