The countdown for India’s third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3, will commence this afternoon. The 26-hour countdown is set to begin at 1:05 pm. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch Chandrayaan-3 using the LVM3 rocket at 2:35 pm tomorrow from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
With this mission, India aims to become the fourth country to successfully land its spacecraft on the moon’s surface, showcasing the nation’s capabilities in achieving safe and soft landings on lunar terrain.
According to an Akashvani correspondent, approximately 16 minutes after the LVM3 lift-off, the propulsion module is expected to separate from the rocket. It will then enter an elliptical cycle, orbiting the Earth for around 5 to 6 times, with the closest point to Earth at 170 km and the farthest point at 36,500 km. The module will gradually gain speed as it embarks on a month-long journey towards the moon’s orbit, eventually reaching an altitude of 100 km above the lunar surface.
Upon reaching the designated position, the lander module will initiate its descent for a soft landing in the moon’s south pole region. This crucial operation is anticipated to take place either on the 23rd or 24th of the following month. The mission’s primary objectives include studying the Earth from the lunar orbit, measuring the near surface and its density changes, conducting thermal property measurements of the lunar surface near the polar region, monitoring lunar seismic activity near the landing site, and delineating the structure of the lunar crust and mantle. Additionally, the rover, with a mission lifespan of one lunar day (equivalent to 14 Earth days), will carry another payload to determine the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks in the vicinity of the landing site.
The launch of Chandrayaan-3 represents a significant milestone in India’s space exploration endeavors, propelling the nation’s scientific and technological capabilities to new heights as it embarks on a comprehensive study of the moon’s surface and its surrounding environment.